African American leadership in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields is nothing new. From doctor, engineer, and academic Dr. Mae Jemison; former U.S. Air Force officer and fighter pilot Dr. Guion S. Bluford; entrepreneur, iOS developer, and student Kaya Thomas; to Blavity — a tech multimedia company — co-founder Morgan DeBaun, the obstacles to innovation and creation in STEM careers have been obliterated in the African American community when equitable access to technology and rich coursework have been made available.

The development and release of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology’s 2016 National Education Technology Plan (NETP16) provides students, educators, and other caring and concerned adults with the necessary tools to ensure equitable digital access and active use, including students of color.

In a world where all students, no matter their geographic or socioeconomic status, have access to digital and technological resources that support, encourage, and empower their learning in and outside of the classroom, more African American students will take leadership roles in STEM. When all students are encouraged to use digital devices in active ways that support creation and innovation, as opposed to passive usage, such as watching videos, surfing social media platforms, or simply submitting homework and checking grades, more career options become available. When students use technology to learn in active ways, they retain information longer, technical skills increase, and self-motivation and esteem improve. Combined, these skill sets enable broader pathways to postsecondary education and career readiness in the global 21st century.The key is ensuring equitable experiences in STEM for all students. …READ MORE

Written By: Office of Ed Tech

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