Help Us Encourage Equity in Tech at SXSWedu!

Did you know the United States spends $20 billion annually on K-12 instructional materials? This money is often spent without any measure on the impact of students, and schools unintentially waste public funds, provide students inferior or inappropriate materials, and perpetuate a system that makes it difficult for new, more effective curricula and instructional materials to break into the market.

Low-income students are at a particular disadvantage when programs are poorly implemented. One pilot program issued iPads and Chromebooks to students in six schools, only to later realize that 30 to 40 percent of the participants did not have internet access at home. Additionally, 41 percent of school site administrators identify digital equity as a “critical” technology challenge, according to Project Tomorrow.

The Cooke Foundation is looking to engage with educational leaders and speak to the issue of technology procurement at the upcoming SXSWedu festival. This event will by attended by thousands of educators, media outlets, and technology investors — exactly the audience who needs this information!

In order to be selected to speak, we request your vote on our proposal:


You will be asked to sign up for an account, but it is a quick click of a button to do so.

Here’s why ensuring equity in digital learning is essential:

  • The U.S. Department of Education bluntly states: “Despite the growing sense that digital tools are common in educational settings, access to them is far from equal. … Without the tools, content, and connections to high-quality learning tools and experiences, these teachers and students cannot be expected to provide and experience learning in ways equal to their peers.”
  • So far, promising solutions have only been initiated through small, targeted initiatives: parking buses with Wi-Fi routers in low-income neighborhoods; Tech Goes Home programs in some cities that give families the skills and access to technology; and delivering free or low-cost broadband access in selected communities.
  • Gifted students who are not enrolled in particularly resource-heavy or engaging classroom environments have found their spark in online resources such as MOOCs and affordable AP classes online. The Cooke Foundation has partnered with edX to help talented students who take certain offerings automatically qualify as semi-finalists for our Young Scholars Program.

Please help us share our ideas with the thousands of attendees who will be at SXSWedu! After you’re done voting, you can also help support us by sharing our goals on social media:

Vote For @TheJKCF to host a panel at @SXSWedu here: #edtech #disruption

We appreciate your support of our panel and more significantly, the exceptionally promising students we seek to engage with these efforts.