Ed Tech and Social Justice

This week in class we discussed how educational technology is related to social justice. I really took time to ponder how we could make the internet a more equitable place.

I came across an article entitled Teaching kids to Code: An economic & Social Justice Issue. I thought this was pretty fitting considering in class we talked about the growing number of students coding and the importance of teaching coding.

There was a part of the article that stated there are many jobs that require students to code; however, particularly schools with students of low income and minority students are not given the opportunities to code. An initiative was started called the Hour of Code. Their vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. On the website there are stats on coding and gender and racial equity. If coding is not taught in all schools, especially those of low income students then there is a greater chance of those students not being able to experience coding and therefore not being able to get jobs in an ever increasing coding world.

On a side note I was interested when Katia had mentioned that Facebook uses algorithms to decide what shows up in your feed. I did not know this was a thing!!

I found this quote from an article:

“My News Feed took on an entirely new character in a surprisingly short amount of time. After checking in and liking a bunch of stuff over the course of an hour, there were no human beings in my feed anymore. It became about brands and messaging, rather than humans with messages”

The fact that news feeds become only filled with things that people like is a problem. We set up our political and social filter bubbles online and the things we read and watch cater to our specific interests. This means that we may never be exposed to some of the most controversial or important things on Facebook. It reminded me of not just online but in our society. So many of us choose what we want to see and hear, which can leave people blind sided to social justice issues. Some people might never volunteer in downtown Regina or leave their area of town to see what is happening.

Last but not least!! I think it is important as teachers to realize that some students may not have the means to technology. As teachers, we must ensure that anything that is required online be done in class time. If there are hand outs have them both online and in paper form. Just being aware of what your students have at home (in regards to technology) is key! The digital divide is a reality for many students.


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