2.b – Ensuring Equitable Access to and Effective Use of Technology

To prepare students for success in today’s high-tech world, it is critical that every student has access to digital devices and high-speed broadband internet. Technology will not only make it possible to stream virtual classes when in-person learning is not possible, it also enables all students to actively engage in their learning going forward.


Talk about “acceleration” rather than “loss.” Many people believe the term “learning loss” does not accurately capture how students experienced the pandemic and misses the learning that did occur. Communication might instead consider describing the “impact of lost instructional time” or “disrupted learning,” and opportunities to “accelerate learning” – avoiding deficit language.
Focus on forward-looking impact. It is important to emphasize that the pandemic has a long-lasting impact on student success, and that investments now will pay dividends both in the short-term and throughout a student’s experience. For example, providing high-quality tutoring today is an investment in our graduation rate years from now.


Know who the services where available to AND who received services.
How were students identified for support, especially those who were disproportionately impacted by COVID?​
If funds were passed onto schools, how were school funds determined?

A theory of action, or logic model, is a tool to help you explain and talk about the reasons why resources were deployed as they were. The following graphic illustration of the relationship between a program’s resources, activities, and its intended effects is meant to help you speak about this investment priority. Logic models clearly and concisely show how interventions affect behavior and achieve a goal.

Download the graphic as a template you can edit.
Resource links related to research on this investment priority:

  • Department of Education, (2021), ED COVID-19 HANDBOOK Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs, Volume 2,  https://www2.ed.gov/documents/coronavirus/reopening-2.pdf  page 25 
  • Hampton, K. N., Fernandez, L., Robertson, C. T., & Bauer, J. M. (2020, March). Broadband and Student Performance Gaps, James H. and Mary B. Quello Center, Michigan State University. Retrieved from: https://quello.msu.edu/broadbandgap/
  • Hampton, K.N., Robertson, C.T., Fernandez, L., Shin, I., & Bauer, J.M. (2021). How variation in internet access, digital skills, and media use are related to rural student outcomes: GPA, SAT, and educational aspirations. Telematics and Informatics, 101666, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tele.2021.101666
  • Bauer, J.M.; Hampton, K.N.; Fernandez, L.; Robertson, C., (2020), Overcoming Michigan’s Homework Gap: The Role of Broadband Internet Connectivity for Student Success and Career Outlooks (October 19, 2020). Quello Center Working Paper No. 06-20, Download from: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3714752 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3714752

This section contains a templates to support messaging of ESSER investments related to addressing lost instructional time through increased access to technology and other supports.