Teaching at Pitt: Help bridge the ‘digital divide’ with technological equity – University Times – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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This year, as we consider the relationships among data, technology and social issues like equity and inclusion, we have a good opportunity to pause to think about the “digital divide” — “the gap between those who have access to technology and those who do not” (Huffman 2018, p. 239) — and how we as faculty can help disadvantaged students who might desperately need support.

The effect of the global COVID-19 pandemic also makes the digital divide a timely concern, because the widespread shift to remote and hybrid instruction models exposed significant gaps in equitable access to technology (bandwidth, equipment and know-how) — gaps that have not yet been sufficiently addressed (Correia 2020, p. 14). 

Lack of technological access at the college level correlates closely with income and race. For example, according to a Pew Research study, only 2 percent of households with incomes over $75,000 per year lacked internet access, whereas for households earning less than $30,000 annually, 21 percent lacked basic broadband internet (Huffman 2018, p. 240). Students with even lower incomes and students from minoritized communities often have even correspondingly lower internet-access rates (Huffman 2018, p. 240), whether due to a lack of internet connections, inadequate or

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