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Closing the Gap

Digital Equity Strategies for the K-12 Classroom
Product code: EQUTY2
ISBN: 9781564847171
Published: 2019
Expected publication date: 04/2019
Topics: Technology infrastructure, BYOD, 1:1
Length: 120 pages

$27.99 Non-member price
$21.00 Member price
By Sarah Thomas, Nicol R. Howard and Regina Schaffer

Closing the Gap is an ISTE book series designed to reflect the contributions of multiple stakeholders seeking to ensure that digital equity is achieved on campuses, in classrooms, and throughout education. In this series, authors Nicol R. Howard, Sarah Thomas, and Regina Schaffer offer historical and philosophical insights while exploring challenges and solutions unique to teacher preparation programs, pre-service and in-service teachers, and instructional coaches.
The second book in the series, Closing the Gap: Digital Equity Strategies for the K-12 Classroom, includes:

  • Examination of digital equity and the “problem of practice” for teachers and coaches
  • Strategies for connecting the ISTE Educator and Student Standards to practice
  • Discussion of key challenges facing teachers in today’s classrooms, such as access, connectivity, limited resources, digital divide, and the homework gap
  • Research-based vignettes from teachers who have encountered and conquered some of the challenges addressed in the book, and from edtech coaches who have implemented equity-centered innovative professional development
  • Concrete, evidence-based strategies for teachers


This book will help K-12 classroom teachers address the challenges of teaching in the digital age, providing positive examples and recommendations for moving toward digital equity in K12 settings.
About the Authors

Sarah Thomas, Ph.D., is an educator and the founder of the EduMatch movement, a project that empowers educators to make global connections across common areas of interest. She has presented internationally, participated in the Technical Working Group to refresh the 2017 ISTE Standards for Educators, and is a recipient of the 2017 ISTE Making It Happen Award. She is also a national advisor for the Future Ready Instructional Coaches Strand. A full biography is available at

Nicol R. Howard, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at the University of Redlands. She has served as co-chair for ISTE’s Digital Equity Network. Her research foci are equitable uses of technology in K16 classrooms, STEM Education opportunities and achievement, and teacher education concerns. Her writing has appeared in the Corwin Connected Educators Series Standing in the Gap: Empowering New Teachers Through Connected Resources, Urban Education Journal, International Journal of Educational Technology, EduCause, Edutopia and eCampus News.

Regina Schaffer is a Technology Specialist for the Middletown Township School District. She was recently selected as a National School Board Association’s 20 to Watch, as well as a 2016 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator. She is a Google Certified Innovator, Common Sense Media Certified Teacher, Discovery Education DEN Star, Remind Connected Educator and a Brainpop Connected Educator. Connect with Regina at @reginaschaffer.


This book is a must-read for all educators implementing digital literacy in schools and classrooms. The authors provide an overarching framework of what’s at stake when it comes to digital equity and why we should all care about creating an inclusive digital learning environment.
-- Rusul Alrubail, executive director, Parkdale Centre for Innovation, and an author, speaker and social justice advocate

Closing the Gap is a timely, methodical, and accessible approach to the current unequally distributed use of edtech in schools. This book addresses the entire spectrum of what leaders need to improve their educational and edtech ecosystems. Based on ISTE Standards and with real life anecdotes, it’s easy to read and powerful to implement the suggestions in Closing the Gap .
-- Jon Corippo, CUE chief learning officer and co-author of The Eduprotocol Field Guide

While many of us who work with educational technology would agree on the need for digital equity, there are few comprehensive resources that deal with the practical implications of striving for equitable tech use in K–12 classrooms. As such, this timely and accessible book addresses a key gap in the existing literature.
-- Alec Couros, Ph.D., professor of educational technology and media, University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Closing the Gap is an enlightening resource for every educational stakeholder in pursuit of equity and access for children. Not only do the authors define digital equity and identify problems of practice, but they offer research, make recommendations for implementation and address future implications. Teachers, coaches and school leaders will truly make an impact when equipped with this information. If you’re interested in closing opportunity gaps and creating equitable teaching and learning opportunities, including digital equity, Closing the Gap is the perfect resource for you.
-- Rosa Isiah, Ed.D., director, elementary education, Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District

This book should be essential reading for all educators. It identifies a largely unrecognized issue in modern education and thoughtfully lays out clear and actionable steps to address it. Authors Thomas, Howard and Schaffer make clear that issues of equity impact all of our students and we’re all responsible for closing the gap.
-- Jennie Magiera, chief program officer, EdTechTeam, and author of Courageous Edventures: Navigating Obstacles to Discover Classroom Innovation

Closing the Gap shines a spotlight on one of today’s largest educational issues—digital equity. Authors Thomas, Howard and Schaffer will guide you in identifying, analyzing and problem-solving these disparities, while bringing to light that these solutions are not simply things we can do—but things we must do. Providing equity in access and equity in opportunity is a moral imperative for today’s educators, and this book provides the needed tools, resources and stories from the field and practical suggestions to make it happen!
-- Thomas C. Murray, director of innovation, Future Ready Schools, and author of Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today

Technology in the hands of teachers who deeply care about their students’ learning is powerful. This book provides solutions and real-life examples for these teachers who desperately want to help their students who are most in need of access.
-- Shelly Sanchez Terrell, digital innovator, author and teacher

Closing the Gap should be on every desk of every school leader who needs a valuable resource for not just bridging the digital and achievement gaps in their district/school board, but closing those gaps. There are real tangible examples with a framework for a sustainable plan. The examples are also from actual practitioners and not from people who haven’t done, or are not actively doing, the work.
-- Ken Shelton, global keynote specialist and educational technology strategist for EdTechTeam

Kudos for a guide that addresses the preparation, actions, and support necessary for digital equity. Based on research and day-to-day classroom experiences, Closing the Gap is a practical guide with clear explanations, examples and recommendations. The result in an excellent resource for any educator—classroom teacher, coach or administrator.
-- Adina Sullivan-Marlow, K–12 educational technology coordinator and founder of EquityEDU