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Digital Equity

Digital equity means ensuring students have equal access to technology, as well as digital literacy skills to navigate digital tools for success throughout their educational careers. COVID-19 has amplified the digital divide among CSUN students. Championing equitable access to technology is at the core of our mission, we are engaged in scholarly and technology initiatives that support the amelioration of digital disparities.

We are excited to share several rewarding developments in our quest toward digital equity.

2022 Doctoral Student Academic Technology Equity Fellow Announced!

Office of Academic Technology in collaboration with the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, and the Research and Sponsored Programs office, are excited to announce Guadalupe Carrasco Cardona, CC21 Educational Leadership Cohort, as the 2022 Doctoral Student Academic Technology Equity Fellow! Visit the Doctoral Student Academic Technology Equity Fellowship page to learn more.

Chronicle of Higher Education Posts Article About Academic Technology Diversity & Equity Innovation Grant Project

The Chronicle of Higher Education has published an article titled "Colleges Can Overestimate Their Students’ Tech Savvy. This Campus Has a Plan to Improve Digital Literacy" about the Diversity & Equity Innovation Grant project "Disseminating the Keys to Digital Equity: The CSUN Digital Grapevine." The article also includes quotes from Dr. Helen Heinrich, Dr. Joyce Marie Brusasco, Autumn Fabricant, and Digital Equity Ambassador Madison Cabrera.

Digital Equity Day - April 22, 2022

The first CSUN Digital Equity Day took place on Friday, April 22nd. The event was held in HyFlex format (in-person and online), and featured Autumn Fabricant, our Doctoral Student AT Equity Fellow, who presented on her research project: Digital Equity and Validation: Exploring the CSUCCESS Program and First-Year Student Experiences at CSUN.

CSUCCESS Article Highlights DEI Grant

Our Spring 2022 DEIG Lead Student Ambassador, Zonique Foyle, and Dr. Helen Heinrich were interviewed as part of a March 2022 CSU article on CSUCCESS and digital literacy, titled "Student Surveys Show CSUCCESS iPads Enhance Educational Experience."

Doctoral Student Academic Technology Equity Fellowship

CSUN's Office of Academic Technology in collaboration with the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, and the Research and Sponsored Programs office, launched the Doctoral Student Academic Technology Equity Fellowship. This fellowship supports doctoral-level research and professional development in topics that include digital equity, identification and promotion of best practices in technology-based education, and solutions toward improved access to technology regardless of ability and socio-economic background.

For more information, visit our Doctoral Student Academic Technology Equity Fellowship page.

Academic Technology Digital Equity Initiatives

Diversity & Equity Innovation Grant

Northridge, California, November 2021 - Academic Technology has been awarded a CSUN Diversity & Equity Innovation grant as part of the program established “to support educational projects, scholarly research, creative activities and other programmatic initiatives that promote diversity, equity and inclusion, anti-racism and social justice for the benefit of the CSUN community."

The grant proposal, titled "Disseminating the Keys to Digital Equity: The CSUN Digital Grapevine," presents a plan to help improve the digital literacy skills of CSUN students by engaging student ambassadors. By leveraging social media platforms and YouTube, student ambassadors will create and share timely and relevant equity-minded content on the use of technology. According to Buzzetto-Hollywood et al. (2018), digital literacy is a barrier to success for underserved students.

The proposed model of Digital Equity Ambassadors will allow students to learn organically from their peers and empower them to seek help. This research-based model targets students who are in the most need of technology-based content to help fill in the digital literacy gaps. Research demonstrates that resources and programs created with the intention of targeting underserved audiences have a larger impact across the board, including the general audience (Thayer, 2000).  An article from EDUCAUSE suggests that institutional leaders should focus their student success efforts on student leader inclusion. The peer-to-peer ambassador model cultivates leadership and encourages students to connect with each other.

The CSUN Digital Grapevine will create resources with that specific underserved audience in mind. Moreover, this project intentionally builds upon Yosso’s (2005) ideas on community cultural wealth as it will empower students to use social and navigational wealth to engage with technology.

References

Buzzetto-Hollywood, N., Hwei Wang, Elobeid, M., & Elobaid Red Rug, M. (2018). Addressing Information Literacy and the Digital Divide in Higher Education. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning & Learning Objects, 14, 77–93. https://doi-org.libproxy.csun.edu/10.28945/4029
Thayer, Paul B. Retention of Students from First Generation and Low Income Backgrounds. Washington, DC: Council for Opportunity in Education, 2000. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED446633.
Yosso, T.J. (2005). Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth. Race ethnicity and education 8(1), pp. 69-91.