On Saturday, February 20, 2021, Team MAET was honored to facilitate a session called “Plug Social Justice into Educational Technology” for the Live Curious Conference (in Monterrey, Mexico, but held virtually this year due to COVID-19).
We chose this topic because issues of equity and privacy are critical in education — especially in educational technology. Digital breadcrumbs impact the profiles companies build around our learners, and as educational technology leaders, it’s up to us to spread awareness. Educators need to know that the digital narrative that’s formed over time can be especially detrimental to learners who are socioeconomically disadvantaged and learners who have been historically marginalized and oppressed. Some of the key strategies we shared with participants in terms of navigating the ed tech landscape with a critical lens included:
- Be informed (laws, policies, etc.)
- Read (or scan) terms of service and privacy policies
- Model (choice of tech, questioning, etc.)
- Push back where it’s needed
- ABC – Always Be Critical
We structured our session in a “hackathon” format to encourage rapid, collaborative problem-solving. Educators who attended the session worked together in breakout groups to identify, define, and propose solutions for an ed tech-oriented challenge they currently face that relates to social justice. By the end of the 60-minute session, participants developed 3 unique prototypes to support them in navigating issues of educational technology and social justice in their own professional contexts. These hacks are also something that you might use to address challenges in your own context. Learn more about this experience and its results in our slide deck from the Live Curious session.