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Leader in digital equity research wins international honors

Nicol R. Howard, Ph.D., a leader in digital equity research and education, was honored with the prestigious Making IT Happen Award from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) at its annual global conference in June.

A faculty member in the School of Education at the University of Redlands who leads its Master of Arts in Education Learning and Teaching program, Howard focuses her practice and research on topics including effective technology use in education, equity in computer science, STEM education, and professional learning for educators.

“Educators are increasingly utilizing emerging technologies for teaching and learning, and schools and districts are striving to implement the appropriate infrastructures and digital equity strategies,” Howard said. “As progress is made, there are still underrepresented and historically marginalized communities who are impacted daily by digital inequities.”

According to the Pew Research Center, about 15 percent of school-aged children lack high-speed internet access at home, she noted: “I hope my research and practice help to raise awareness about the role schools and educational institutions can play in addressing digital inequities, as well as the actions we might collectively take to better prepare students for college and careers in a digital world.”

Howard is the co-author of the ISTE books Closing the Gap: Digital Equity Strategies for the K-12 Classroom and Closing the Gap: Digital Equity Strategies for Teacher Prep Programs. Her research has been published in the International Journal of Educational Technology and the Urban Education Journal. She is also co-editor of the Journal of Computer Science Integration.

“Nicol has been a leader in technology integration for instructors, local schools, our university, the state, and nation,” says School of Education Dean Andrew Wall. “This award is an exceptional acknowledgment of her efforts.”

The ISTE Making IT Happen award honors outstanding educators and leaders who demonstrate extraordinary commitment, leadership, courage, and persistence in improving digital learning opportunities for students. “Each one of the awardees has made unique and impactful contributions to education,” said ISTE CEO Richard Culatta. “On behalf of ISTE, I’m thrilled to be recognizing their work with this special award as ISTE celebrates four decades of accelerating the use of technology to solve tough problems and inspire innovation.”