One of the most prominent technology issues facing Regina Public Schools is digital equity. Digital equity refers to all students having adequate access to technology and information regardless of socio-economic status, ethnicity, age, physical ability, or any other characteristic. Adequate access to technology and information is not only fundamental for opportunities to learn but an essential component in helping students to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to become digitally fluent citizens. Lack of access to technology and information deprives one of rich learning experiences while in school and possibly limits opportunities after graduation.
Due to the inherent cost of technology and other forces at play resulting in correlated inequity, digital equity has been an enduring issue in education spaces and can be difficult to fully address. Nevertheless, Regina Public Schools remains committed to equitable opportunities for all students and aspires to close the digital divide as much as possible. To this end, the division seeks to establish a fair and equitable baseline technology allocation model across all schools. Additionally, because Regina Public Schools understands that access to technology and information alone does not result in digital equity, the division will continue to focus on other dimensions essential to achieving digital equity.
The current state of access to baseline technology may not be equitable across the division. The reason for this is multi-faceted; however, inequities generally exist because schools have resorted to sourcing technology to supplement allocations provided by the division through fundraising, grants, contests, and corporate sponsorship or partnerships. While some schools have enjoyed increased access through these means, others have not. Still, it is hard to blame to schools for wanting to increase access to technology hardware and software. The fact that many schools have done this is a clear sign that the current quantity and quality of technology no longer meets the needs of teachers and learners at Regina Public Schools.
Another possible reason for existing inequities is the result of attempting to provide baseline technology allocations based solely on the enrollment numbers of individual schools. The reality is that each school, and its learning program, is unique and has different needs that need to be considered when planning for technology access.
A renewed framework for baseline technology allocations would improve the environments under which learning occurs using technology and will move the division closer to achieving digital equity. Regina Public Schools encourages a balanced instructional framework as its pedagogical foundation, which includes individual, small group, and whole group instruction. Therefore the selection and use of technology, including the amount of each piece of hardware and software, needs to be driven by the division’s preferred instructional framework.
Baseline technology allocations:
Windows Laptops and Desktops