It is hard to fathom a world without technology, as it has its imprint all over the world and all over what we do. But for many students, there is not as clear of an imprint. If students come from a lower privileged household, or fall into the lower socioeconomic status bracket, then they might not be exposed to as many opportunities as their peers. This is were we look to education to bridge that gap, to provide opportunities for students within schools to get the proper exposure to technology so they are not falling behind in technology skills needed to become college and career ready in the ever-growing STEM fields. Costanza-Chock et al. (2018) explain, “Technology can be a tool to provide greater access to legal services for underserved populations” (p. 114). Most of the time, this works great…education can be the great equalizer. But when schools do not have equal access, and there is a disparity even from school to school, that is when I believe there is social injustice when it comes to technology.
While reflecting back at the discussions this week, I am confident in saying that one of the most important technological skills that we need to teach is how to evaluate and test sources for reliability. This is specifically mentioned in the Digital and Civic Literacy Skills, it is Skill 1, which is, “Students can locate and verify reliable sources of information.”
Finally, another point that was made this week in the discussions that really resonated with me was to use prior experiences to have important discussions. I am in full support of using prior to build on learning, especially when it is for sensitive topics like social injustices, such as exploring gender differences, bias, inequality, etc. It is well known that more authentic learning occurs when students, and adults, can make connections and relate past experiences to current situations. We also need to make sure our teachers know how to implement the technology correctly. As Tarman, Baytak, and Duman (2015) claim, “is not just distributing technology but also training teachers how to integrate this technology in different areas” (p. 872). This theme of constant professional development seems to be a common one! With technology leading the way, we are able to have open communication with people from all over the world. This can be a game changer. Technology can be the catalyst for these important conversations!
Costanza-Chock, S., Wagoner, M., Taye, B., Rivas, C., Schweidler, C., Bullen, G., & The Tech for Social Justice Project. (2018).#MoreThanCode: Practitioners reimagine the landscape of technology for justice and equity, 1-130.
Tarman, B., Baytak, A., & Duman, H. (2015). Teachers’ views on an ICT reform in education for social justice. Eurasia Journal Of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 11(4), 865-874.