I was lucky to catch the #SSDChat tonight, which was all about homework.
I will admit – I don’t find much use for homework at all. I find it only serves to reinforce the good, and further alienate the struggling.
I bring this up here because I am worried that the push for digital learning is sending the (wrong) message that access to a device means teachers can expect students to complete more work outside the classroom. We’ve all heard it – “24/7 access to content,” “classroom without walls,” and “anytime, anywhere learning.” What we need to remember is that access to a digital device does not inherently make the learning more relevant or accesible any more than access to a mechanical pencil might. Students have a life outside the school. For some, it’s soccer, plays, music lessons, Boy Scouts, etc. For others, it’s domestic violence, poverty, working parents not at home, or unsafe environments.
Equity is not just about access to a device. It’s about access to opportunity; access to support; and access to meaningful and relevant learning. Without these, a device is just a device and homework is just another way to expand the gap between those who can and those who need support so they can as well.
Some powerful tweets from tonight’s #SSDChat:
@SusanBFord17 HW is going to come down to an equity issue. Which students have the support at home to be able to complete HW?
Just don’t. The real work happens in class. If they get it in class, why do it again? If not, why expect them to do it indep?