How is edtech related to social justice?

This week in ECMP 355, we were presented with two blog prompts to think about: “How is edtech related to social justice?” and “What can we do to make the Internet a more equitable place?” Both these ideas were new to me as I have never really been exposed to them or been required to think about them. After some reflection, I started to wonder why I have never been introduced to the idea of there being a connection between edtech and social justice. Over the last four years of my education degree, we have talked about social justice in a number of different capacities, however, never in regards to edtech. This started to concern me because edtech and technology in the classroom is growing in popularity. As pre-service teachers, we are entering into the education field at a time when it is almost expected that we are going to use technology in the classroom. Therefore, I think it is vitally important that we are made aware of the connection between social justice and edtech. More importantly, we need to understand how we can take steps to make the Internet a more equitable place for all our students.

When I first heard we were going to be talking about how edtech is related to social justice, my first question was, “are the relations between edtech and social justice positive or negative?” I think social media allows people to share social justice issues quickly and to a mass amount of people. Again, this can be both positive and negative because it can be a way to bring attention to otherwise silenced issues but it can also bring attention to negatively portrayed issues because even if you don’t agree with it you are still viewing it on social media, which still brings attention to it. I thought that social media was a place for all groups to speak out, so I was amazed to hear that some social media spaces have practices in place to silence voices. Therefore, I think the representations of social issues we see on social media are not always accurate.

I am still asking myself how to make the Internet a more equitable place for all, particularly my students. I think this demonstrates the importance of teaching students how to be digitally literate. I want my students to be critical thinkers in terms of what they see online. As well, I want my students to use social media to break down barriers rather than further the gap.

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