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Technological Equity in Local and National K-12 Education: How Can I Be More Mindful About Promoting Digital Access and Fluency in My Future Classroom?

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The purpose of this study was to determine how I, as a future teacher, can best combat inequities in technological access and fluency in my future classroom. In this study, I explored a range of literature on the role of

The purpose of this study was to determine how I, as a future teacher, can best combat inequities in technological access and fluency in my future classroom. In this study, I explored a range of literature on the role of technology in the classroom, the digital divide in home and school settings, and variance in digital literacy. Additional insight was gained through interviews and observing school faculty in three public school districts in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. This provided a better understanding of local context in order to gain a sense of the national and local realities of the digital landscape as they relate to educational equity in the educational settings where I aim to serve as a certified teacher.

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2017-05

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An Explanation of Crowdfunding and its Exciting Future

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This paper intends to inform the reader about the current state of crowdfunding, also known as crowdsourced funding, as of early May 2014. Crowdfunding has proven to be an interesting alternate to other more common financing vehicles with its ability

This paper intends to inform the reader about the current state of crowdfunding, also known as crowdsourced funding, as of early May 2014. Crowdfunding has proven to be an interesting alternate to other more common financing vehicles with its ability to unite people over common ideas and projects without requiring the contribution of large amounts of capital. Further, the changing legal landscape invites a new era of deregulation that makes crowdfunding easier than ever before. This paper contains explanations of the different types of crowdfunding, platforms (websites), and the international landscape particularly of the US and Europe as well as statistics regarding the predicted future growth of the industry.

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2014-05

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A digital approach to closing equity gaps in Arizona schools

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Schools across the United States have been subject to a rise in violent incidents since 2013. Reading about school shootings, racist acts, and violent demonstrations in schools has unfortunately become commonplace, which is contributing to inequitable outcomes for some student

Schools across the United States have been subject to a rise in violent incidents since 2013. Reading about school shootings, racist acts, and violent demonstrations in schools has unfortunately become commonplace, which is contributing to inequitable outcomes for some student populations. These equity gaps have triggered demands for more equitable solutions in schools, a responsibility that falls on the shoulders of stakeholders like school governing boards, principals, and parents.

Chandler Unified School District (CUSD), a large school system in Arizona that serves 45,000 students from preschool through high school, has been unable to escape similar structural and frictional inequities within its schools. One instance of a racially charged student performance at Santan Middle School motivated CUSD to take a more immediate look at equity in the district. It is during this response that our team of New Venture Group consultants engaged with Matt Strom, Assistant Superintendent of CUSD, in analyzing the important question of “how CUSD can take steps towards closing equity gaps within the district?”

CUSD defines an equity gap as any difference in student opportunity, achievement, discipline, attendance, etc. contributable to a student’s ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status. Currently, certain student populations in CUSD perform vastly different academically and receive different opportunities within schools, but as was our problem statement, CUSD is aiming to reduce (and eventually close) these gaps.

Our team approached this problem in three phases: (1) diagnosis, (2) solution creation, and (3) prevention. In phase one, we created a dashboard to help principals easily and visually identify gaps by toggling parameters on the dashboard. Phase two focused on the generation of recommendations for closing gaps. To achieve this goal, a knowledge of successful gap-closing strategies will be paired with the dashboard. In our final phase, the team of consultants created a principal scorecard to ensure equity remains a priority for principals.

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2019-12

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White teachers' reflections on whiteness: documenting the journey

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Teacher learning is a complex and important idea, given the proposed centralized role these individuals have in eradicating the inequitable school outcomes for students of color. It is necessary that researchers document the complex trajectory of learning that occurs as

Teacher learning is a complex and important idea, given the proposed centralized role these individuals have in eradicating the inequitable school outcomes for students of color. It is necessary that researchers document the complex trajectory of learning that occurs as teachers engage in critical reflection on their practice. In the current study, white, female teachers examined the ways their own beliefs, assumptions, and values impacted classroom interactions with students of color, as well as the ways power, privilege, and whiteness manifested in the classroom. Utilizing Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) as a framework for understanding teacher learning as product and process, as well as whiteness and feminist theories as interrogative tools, the complex and iterative learning trajectories of two elementary school teachers are described in detail. The participating teachers engaged in critical reflection in the context of collaborative interviews, in which they reflected upon excerpts from classroom videos using the lenses of whiteness, power, and privilege in order to consider their own and others' teaching related to deeply held beliefs, assumptions, and values.

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2014

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A cultural historical activity theoretical (CHAT) framework for understanding the construction of inclusive education from Turkish teachers' and parents' perspectives

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Inclusive education has become a global movement through the policies of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (e.g., Salamanca Statement). These policies led many developing nations to adopt these policies in their national policy agendas. Turkey has developed

Inclusive education has become a global movement through the policies of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (e.g., Salamanca Statement). These policies led many developing nations to adopt these policies in their national policy agendas. Turkey has developed inclusive education policies that deal with the education of students with disabilities (SwD). However, although SwD are the largest group who are marginalized and excluded from educational opportunities, there are other groups (e.g., cultural-linguistic minorities) who experience educational inequities in access and participation in learning opportunities and deal with enduring marginalization in education. This study examined a) Turkish teachers’ and parents’ conceptualizations of inclusive education for diverse groups of students, namely SwD, Kurdish students (KS), and girls, who experience educational inequities, b) how their construction of students’ identities influenced students' educational experiences in relation to inclusive education, c) how their stories revealed identities, differences and power, and what role privilege played in marginalization, labeling, and exclusion of students within conceptualizations of inclusive education. I used cultural historical activity theory (Engeström, 1999) and figured worlds (Holland et al., 1998) to understand the teachers’ and parents’ interpretations and experiences about inclusive education. This qualitative study was conducted in four different schools in Maki, a small southwestern city in Turkey. A classroom photo, with a vignette written description, and a movie documentary were used as stimuli to generate focus group discussions and individual interviews. I conducted classroom observations to explore the context of schooling and how students were positioned within the classrooms. Classroom artifacts were additionally collected, and the data were analyzed using a constant-comparative method. The study findings demonstrated that students had different equity struggles in access, meaningful participation, and having equal outcomes in their education. The education activity system was not inclusive, but rather was exclusive by serving only certain students. SwD and girls had difficulty accessing education due to cultural-historical practices and institutional culture. On the other hand, Turkish-only language policy and practices created tensions for KS to participate fully in education activity systems. Although stakeholders advocated girls’ education, many of them constructed SwD’s and KS’ identities from deficit perspectives.

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2016