MTLT Special Issue: Digital Equity and the Digital Divide

October 6, 2021


Contact: Mary Donovan, 703.620.9840,

RESTON —October 6, 2021—The October issue of Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK–12 (MTLT), the widely read practitioner journal from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), will be published on Wednesday, October 6.

MTLT Editor-in-Chief Angela Barlow welcomes readers to the October MTLT, “a special themed issue that focuses on the digital divide and the need for digital equity.” Barlow addresses how many faced this digital divide at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 and the first steps that were taken to deal with this new normal. This editorial emphasizes how “technology represents a powerful tool to be leveraged in your students’ mathematical learning journey.” Barlow hopes that throughout this issue, “readers will contemplate the ideas shared and consider what their next steps are in leveraging technology to the benefit of all students.”

In the October Front-and-Center article, authors Allison W. McCulloch, Jennifer N. Lovett, Lara K. Dick, and Charity Cayton discuss how different technologies help to support development in students at all learning levels. In their article, the authors explain their steps to ensure that technologies are used in “ways that . . . help to address the existing inequities in our mathematics classrooms.” With the help of sample tasks and video clips of students engaging with those tasks, the authors show readers how to incorporate these technologies to learn how to overcome learning struggles. The authors ask that readers use these available tools and resources to address existing inequalities rather than perpetuate them. When asked about the impact of their article, McCulloch said they want to “share how technology can provide a way for all students to enter a mathematical problem, mediate mathematical discussions, and support the development of informal and powerful ways of mathematical thinking.”

Author Xi Yu introduces readers to six strategies that can be used to connect with and hear from all students in a digital classroom—even when the webcams are off. In this month’s grade 9–12 Feature article “Everybody Still Plays: Virtual Engagement without Webcams On,” readers will develop strategies to handle the challenges of student engagement in a virtual classroom, which is an issue that schools across the country have faced since the start of the pandemic.

When thrown into this virtual environment, Yu was faced with a virtual classroom of blank screens. Mandating screens being on is a heavily debated topic, so Yu saw this as a pedagogical challenge to overcome and as “an opportunity to embrace a new set of pedagogical strategies that [will] give opportunities for all students to engage in class.” In this article, readers will learn different ways to engage students in small groups and whole-class activities, even with the screens off.

NCTM encourages those interested in contributing to the publication to review the MTLT Author Toolkit.


The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has served as the public voice of mathematics education for more than 100 years, supporting teachers to ensure equitable mathematics learning of the highest quality for each and every student through vision, leadership, professional development, and research. NCTM is the world’s largest organization dedicated to improving mathematics education in prekindergarten through grade 12. NCTM is committed to ongoing dialogue and constructive discussion with all stakeholders about what is best for students. The organization envisions a world where everyone sees the value, beauty, and joy of mathematics and is empowered by the opportunities mathematics affords.