EdTech, Equity and Social Justice

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I'm interested in discussions regarding the collision that occurs when Educational Technology meets Equity and Social Justice:

* How is "digital equity" usually defined? Who gets to define it?
* How are educational technologies used to address educational and social inequities?


* How do educational technologies contribute to these inequities?
* How can teachers, in classrooms, use technology to address equity and social justice issues?
* How can schools and school districts ensure that, when they say they are adopting technology to address "digital equity" issues, they actually are addressing educational and social equity problems? It is Personal and Dangerous Now. 2013 has been an interesting year.

It is Personal and Dangerous Now

Education is being juggled more than ever between pedagogy and corporate control AND it is personal — for you — for me — for our children. The marketing strategy of adaptive learning systems is that of 24/7 services that you can access at any time, in any place and at any pace. Education has adopted this language to reduce costs with business-like customization and streamlined productivity. The expectation is for a flexible education system that will also be more efficient and cost effective. [Source: Rebirth of the Teaching Machine Through the Seduction of Data Analytics: This Time It’s Personal by Phil McRae] “The adaptive learning system crusade in schools is organized, growing in power and well-funded by venture capitalists and corporations.

There’s money in it, but not for the right reasons nor for the right people: our children. We did this before. I grew up then and remember having problems understanding some concepts. Source: U.S. Robert Reich: The destructive myth at the heart of American “public” education. American kids are getting ready to head back to school.

Robert Reich: The destructive myth at the heart of American “public” education

But the schools they’re heading back to differ dramatically by family income. Which helps explain the growing achievement gap between lower and higher-income children. Thirty years ago, the average gap on SAT-type tests between children of families in the richest 10 percent and bottom 10 percent was about 90 points on an 800-point scale. Today it’s 125 points. The gap in the mathematical abilities of American kids, by income, is one of widest among the 65 countries participating in the Program for International Student Achievement.

On their reading skills, children from high-income families score 110 points higher, on average, than those from poor families. The achievement gap between poor kids and wealthy kids isn’t mainly about race. It’s a reflection of the nation’s widening gulf between poor and wealthy families. This matters, because a large portion of the money to support public schools comes from local property taxes. New Report: Technology Can Close Achievement Gaps and Improve Learning Outcomes for At-Risk Students. Press Release: New Report: Technology Can Close Achievement Gaps and Improve Learning Outcomes for At-Risk Students Report Identifies Key Strategies to Successful Technology Implementation WASHINGTON, DC – As school districts around the country consider investing in technology as a way to improve student outcomes, a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) finds that technology—when implemented properly—can produce significant gains in student achievement and boost engagement, particularly among students most at risk.

New Report: Technology Can Close Achievement Gaps and Improve Learning Outcomes for At-Risk Students

“This report makes clear that districts must have a plan in place for how they will use technology before they make a purchase,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “It also underscores that replacing teachers with technology is not a successful formula. Using Technology to Support At-Risk Students’ Learning is available at. 1-855-8-INTERNET (1-855-846-8376) The Root (TheRoot) How education reform drives gentrification. Stephanie Yao Long/The Oregonian/Landov Public school teachers in Portland, Ore., and their students are doing a victory lap.

How education reform drives gentrification

Nearly a year after unveiling a contract proposal that would have put the squeeze on the 2,900-member Portland Association of Teachers (PAT), the Portland School Board on March 3 approved a contract that acceded to virtually every demand from the teachers’ union. The board was acting as a stalking horse for corporate attacks on unions and public education nationwide. It initially wanted to saddle teachers with higher health care costs, fewer retirement benefits, more students and a greater workload in a city where 40 percent of teachers already work more than 50 hours a week (PDF).

The board also demanded expansive management rights (PDF) and allegedly wished to link teacher evaluation more closely to standardized testing. Only after 98 percent of the PAT voted to strike starting Feb. 20 — and students vowed to join the picket line — did the board blink. Digital Tools Can’t Magically Create Connections. Using Music to Close the Academic Gap - Lori Miller Kase. Several times a week, a group of at-risk youth in Los Angeles reports to makeshift music rooms at Alexandria Elementary School near Koreatown for lessons in violin or cello or bass—and to Saturday ensemble programs where they learn to play with bands and orchestras.

Using Music to Close the Academic Gap - Lori Miller Kase

As the students study their instruments, researchers study the students’ brains. The children, who devote at least five hours per week to their music, are participants in the award-winning non-profit Harmony Project, which provides free instruments and instruction to kids in underserved areas of the city if they promise to stay in school. The scientists, who hail from Northwestern University’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, travel from Evanston, Illinois to a satellite lab in Hollywood for a few weeks each year to examine the impact of the music lessons on the children’s language and cognitive skills.

What they are finding, according to Dr. Where do people talk honestly about race? At the A.C.T.O.R. series. By Rachel Mullin A.C.T.O.R. conversation with Tony Award-winning playwright, David Henry Hwang about his play Yellow Face.

Where do people talk honestly about race? At the A.C.T.O.R. series

L-R: Ari Roth, David Henry Hwang, Pamela Pinnock, Deepa Iyer, and E. Ethelbert Miller. Photo by Shirley Serotsky. “I believe one of the ways we become more tolerant and accepting of others is to talk to them, to engage people that are different from us–to get out of our comfort zone and actually hear a different point of view, a different experience.” – Pamela Pinnock It was this belief that led Pamela Pinnock to launch the monthly discussion series almost nine years ago at Busboys and Poets called “A Continuing Talk on Race,” or A.C.T.O.R. Challenging people through conversation is Pinnock’s mission.

Pinnock came to Busboys and Poets near the U Street corridor in June of 2005 after more than a decade in the labor movement. Over the past eight years, Pinnock has developed a format that allows participants to push the boundaries. How do you define race? University School Literacy and Culture. A summary from "The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3" by University of Kansas researchers Betty Hart and Todd R.

University School Literacy and Culture

Risley. (2003). American Educator. Spring: 4-9, which was exerpted with permission from B. Hart and T.R. Risley (1995). In this groundbreaking study, Betty Hart and Todd Risley entered the homes of 42 families from various socio-economic backgrounds to assess the ways in which daily exchanges between a parent and child shape language and vocabulary development. The Early Catastrophe Betty Hart & Todd R. Mission: Betty Hart and Todd Risley were at the forefront of educational research during the 1960’s War on Poverty. Experimental Method: Hart and Risley recruited 42 families to participate in the study including 13 high-income families, 10 families of middle socio-economic status, 13 of low socio-economic status, and 6 families who were on welfare.

Results: The results of the study were far more severe than anyone could have anticipated. Rethinking Schools Online. Become a subscriber or online account holder to read this article and hundreds more.

Rethinking Schools Online

Learn more. Already a subscriber or account holder? Log in here. Learning in the Digital Age: Control or Connection? By Jane Van Galen In October 2011, 200 state school officers and legislators gathered at a hotel in San Francisco to learn how to “revolutionize” learning by “personalizing” instruction. To Bush and his supporters, “personalized instruction” has a very particular meaning: Students click at their own pace through web-based tutorials, videos, learning games, and diagnostic quizzes, with digital remediation as needed—content and assessments all created and delivered by for-profit corporations.

Media magnate Rupert Murdoch was a keynote speaker at the summit. Ctrl L: Learning Controlled Through Technology The vision of digitally managed curriculum and assessment presented at the summit was developed by the Digital Learning Council, also co-chaired by Jeb Bush. Self-Directed Learning: An Inner-City Perspective. By Tiffany Mikell While touring for his book, Dale Stephens stopped by the Chicago area to participate in a panel discussion on taking control of your education by following your passion. The event was held in a high school auditorium and I had the pleasure of being in the audience that evening. The panel shared inspiring stories of challenging the educational status quo. When Dale shared his unschooled story, a dad in the crowd asked a question that challenged the practicality of Dale’s method of acquiring education.

He asked something along the lines of, “How can this be applied to students here…in the school districts of Illinois?” While I have some general thoughts on how we can apply unschooling methods in all classrooms — despite the socio-economic and cultural background of students — the question asked by the concerned parent brought to mind just how powerful knowing how to teach yourself, finding unique learning opportunities and learning how to learn can really be.

Social Inequality. A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism – Help Me Find More. Issues of race and racism are critical for us to discuss and act on in our classrooms, among the teaching profession, and in society.

A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism – Help Me Find More

I’ve posted a number of useful related resources over the years, and I thought this would be a good time to bring them all together and to also invite readers to contribute more. Here are my choices, so far, for inclusion in A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism: The Best Posts, Articles & Lesson Plans On The Jordan Davis Tragedy & Verdict: Our “Classrooms Are Full Of Him” The Best Resources For Lessons On Trayvon Martin Ta-Nehisi Coates On “Elegant Racism” Quote Of The Day: “Why Are Teachers Of Color Missing In Teacher Of The Year Selection?” “Looting” In Haiti? I’ve used these two videos in class: 3 Pitfalls To Avoid When Talking About Race is from NPR. Why students need more Black and Latino teachers is by José Luis Vilson. US teachers nowhere as diverse as their students is from The Associated Press.

A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism – Help Me Find More. Diversity, Multicultural, Cultural Competence, & Inclusion Education Training. Environmental Justice News. Why whites don’t see racism: Reagan Democrats are Stephen Colbert Democrats now. There is a perception gap in the electorate between blacks and non-blacks about affirmative action in college admissions and between whites and non-whites about issues of racial inequality generally.

Why whites don’t see racism: Reagan Democrats are Stephen Colbert Democrats now

For example, a CNN survey conducted in 2009 found that 55 percent of blacks thought discrimination was a very serious problem, while only 17 percent of whites felt that way. Similarly, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center survey on race, 80 percent of blacks felt that equality has not been achieved and 43 percent of blacks thought there was still “a lot of discrimination,” while only 13 percent of whites believed that there was much anti-black bias.

The same survey also found that 54 percent of whites believed the country had made the necessary changes to give African Americans rights equal to whites, while only 13 percent of blacks believed this. Working-class whites are in a serious funk. Data about racial disparities mask the experiences of working-class whites. ELL Students Neglected in School Turnaround Efforts. Policy & Research | News ELL Students Neglected in School Turnaround Efforts A new evaluation of School Improvement Grant recipients shows that even in schools with high percentages of English language learners, ELL students were poorly represented in strategic reform efforts. The report — Study of School Turnaround: A Focused Look at Schools Receiving School Improvement Grants That Have Large Percentages of English Language Learner Students (issued by the United States Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences) — looked at 11 schools that participated in the SIG program over a three-year period (from 2010–2011 to 2012–2013) and evaluated the depth to which these schools addressed the needs of ELL students, using a point-based system.

It found that, at best, only moderate attention was paid to the unique needs of ELLs. For the most part, only limited attention was given. Poverty in America - The Living Wage Calculator. The Living Wage Calculator is a website developed and maintained by Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier at MIT. The purpose of the Living Wage Calculator is to provide a snapshot of what it actually costs to survive in counties and cities in the United States. The Living Wage Calculator shows the differences between minimum wages and minimum living wages for each county and some cities in the U.S.

The calculator accounts for eight different household scenarios from single adult to two adults and three children living in the same household. Applications for Education The Living Wage Calculator only accounts for the basic monthly expenses in each scenario. Poor Students Struggle as Class Plays a Greater Role in Success.

"My Teacher Is an App" (This is a long one.) So I hope no one minds if I continue to try to document the ways in which "education" is being reframed in this country at the peril, I think, of losing everything that is best about schools and teachers and classrooms. If you're not up to speed with these reframing efforts, the above titled article in the Wall Street Journal this morning should do the trick. The canary is singing in full throat. And let's not make any bones about it: the Journal has a vested interest in making the type of online learning it describes successful as it owns a large stake in many of the vendors trying to occupy the space.

The author would like us to believe that education is being "radically rethought" by the online and "blended" options that are available to students. It's a disheartening and disturbing vision of what an education might become: And this vision is exploding: In just the past few months, Virginia has authorized 13 new online schools. But this isn't different. Lead. Why is digital inclusion essential? Over the last years, we have seen the usage of the Internet skyrocketing globally.

As most of us take for granted our access to the Web, we usually forget that the largest part of our world is not yet connected. A quick search on the Web illustrates this easily: out of the 6.9 Billion people in the planet, 67% do NOT use the Internet regularly. Over 4.6 billion people have yet to connect. And do not think that only people in developing countries have not connected yet. In North America we are talking about a bit more than 21% and almost 39% in Europe. Digital inclusion is the first step for a person to improve his or hers livelihood. Digital inclusion is not only about bringing in the lower income classes, but also trying to understand and help the large segments of developed countries to get online.

We have also to consider the importance of properly using the Internet efficiencies to improve our society. Welcome again, Caetano Notari. Critical Media Literacy. Broadband access in the United States is even worse than you think. Technology in Schools Still Subject to Digital, Income Divides. Your Guide to the Digital Divide. How Do Parents Think ‘Educational’ Screen Time Affects Learning? A Guide to Statistics on Historical Trends in Income Inequality. Edutopia 2014. Reclaiming the Conversation on Education. Social Justice & Technology. Connecting the Digital Divide to Digital Literacies. New ‘Digital Divide’ Seen in Wasting Time Online. COLORLINES. Granta 92: The View from Africa. A Simple Way to Send Poor Kids to Top Colleges. Dangerously Irrelevant.

Internet Access and the New Divide. Innovating civic media tools and practices together with communities. Civic Media Lunch: Technology for Peacebuilding in Sudan and Cyprus. FCC super Wi-Fi plan: There is no plan. Tech, telecom giants take sides as FCC proposes large public WiFi networks. There Is No FCC Plan For Free Nationwide Super WiFi, Why Won't This Story Die? Digital Divide in Mississippi Splits Along Racial Lines, Report Finds. Bringing a Nation Online-The Role of Federal Leadership fi… - bringing_a_nation.pdf. Community-Scale Broadband Solutions Are Critical. National Broadband Plan Vital to Closing Digital Divide, FCC Tells Senate Committee. Advocates Urge Increased Broadband Access for Minority Communities. Universal broadband should be about control, not just access. Student's Social-Media-Fueled Campaign Propels Him Into Office. Poverty Is Rooted In US Education System, Research Finds.

11 Facts about Education and Poverty in America. Digital Inclusion Network Home: E. The National Broadband Plan - Broadband.gov. You Can’t Get There from Here. Equity and social justice from the inside-out: Ten commitments of a multicultural educator « Fedcan Blog. Poverty and Education – The Challenge of Improving Schools.