A new digital dashboard from the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) aims to help school districts and communities leverage data to close digital equity gaps.

According to CoSN, the Digital Equity Dashboard is an “innovative and practical tool” that integrates various national data sets into one comprehensive dashboard. CoSN added that by anonymizing the data and breaking it down into county, school district, and zip code units, the Digital Equity Dashboard provides school and community leaders with valuable data to inform decision-makers and address equity concerns.

“As a technology lead in my district, being empowered in the decision-making process with a robust data solution is invaluable,” said Dr. Tom Ryan, past CoSN chair and former CITO for Santa Fe Public Schools. “Having actionable, dependable data at our fingertips allows for precise decision-making and tailored resource allocation, driving the overall success of our district. Because when it comes to leading districts, information isn’t just power – it’s progress.”

With the Digital Equity Dashboard, school districts can use the available data to make better-informed decisions regarding digital equity. CoSN highlighted potential use cases for the dashboard, including school leaders using the data to identify the number of households without internet access within their attendance area. In that use case, school leaders can also compare internet upload and download statistics to ensure all families have equitable access to high-quality broadband.

CoSN also noted that the dashboard also includes data related to health, educational attainment, income, and other demographics, which enables school leaders to correlate outcomes to levels of internet access. Looking towards the future, CoSN said that in the coming months, it plans to release case studies from partner school districts that have successfully integrated their district data. The case studies will highlight collaboration used to inform decision-making, leverage state and Federal funding opportunities, and drive communication within school organizations and across communities.

“Previous research by CoSN found that although most students returned to school last year following remote learning, there was more internet traffic on the school network from outside of school hours than during school hours,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “Home access is critical to bridge the Homework Gap, especially for low-income, disproportionately Black and Hispanic students. This tool will give school leaders actionable information about where the problem exists.”

The dashboard was developed in partnership with Innive and with support from Dell Technologies and Google.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs