Technology is a force for equity in society, or is it?

March 5 preFor this week’s debate, we talked about technology and equity. I for one initially thought yes, of course, technology is a force for equity. Technology has taught many people about political issues and how we can move forward as a society, and it helps people connect to others and learn large amounts of new information. Technology can allow for students to find other resources to expand their knowledge. Most of my classmates didn’t agree, and I was ready to learn why.

Ryan debated that technology is a force for equity. Ryan pointed out that technology has helped people with disabilities significantly. The use of technology helps people with disabilities live more accessible lives. Also, with the use of technology, more people around the world are able to get better educations. With technology, young people are engaging in topics like economics, society, and politics. Because of this engagement, young people feel as though their voice can be heard. A famous example of this is the students from Stoneman Douglas High School, where there was a school shooting. Through the use of social media, they were able to organize rallies and have politics listen to their concerns about gun control in America.

Kaytlyn also had a very strong argument for why technology is not a force for equity. Today, with our growing use of technology, the use of the internet is a requirement, but having access to the internet is not available to everyone. As a result, many people are left behind, such as students who need that access. Many teachers rely on online resources to post lesson plans or submissions, but if a student is not able to access it because they have no internet access, they will fall behind. For many students, the only way they can get access to the internet is through cell phones, which is not an effective way to do their homework or needed research. Not only that, but school bans on cell phones make it even harder for those students to succeed in their classes.

As mentioned in the debate, there are great programs that allow students to use the internet, such as the EYES Program in Regina. While those programs may be amazing for students, the real problem here is that schools should be providing those necessities to students rather than outside resources. Also, many of the students who need those programs may not be able to get there for reasons like transportation, jobs, taking care of siblings–the list goes on.

March 5 postAt the end of the debate, we took another vote, and Kaytlyn took the win. I myself changed my stance on the topic as well. How can we say that it promotes equity when so many students are left behind? And while it is partially schools responsibility to ensure their students have access to technology so that they can succeed, it is society that should be held the most accountable. We have made it a requirement to have internet and live successful lives–shouldn’t there be an implementation of internet access at higher levels than just education systems? I think so.

Advertisements

4 Replies to “Technology is a force for equity in society, or is it?”

  1. Hi Shaleen!
    I agree that it’s hard to make the claim that technology is a force of equity when so many people do not have access to it. Adding to this, I think that the type of technology people have access to is also important to acknowledge. In my opinion, it’s not enough to give everyone a form of technology and expect that to drive equity. For example, if you are working on making a powerpoint presentation in class and one student has a laptop while another student has a smart phone, how ca we expect them to accomplish the task to the same caliber and with the same amount of effort? We can’t. This issue of inequity isn’t one that technology can solve on it’s own, but I do see how it can be one tool in achieving this goal. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and summary of the debate!
    Lauren

    Like

  2. Hey Shaleen!
    You’re so right about how far we are from being technologically equal. It is truly unfortunate how so many people in the world today don’t have access to modern technology. While this is super unfortunate, I for one still think that technology is a force for equity. There are just too many cases where technology has helped people overcome obstacles for me to not agree with this argument. However… due to all of the reasons that Kaitlyn stated, and the reasons that you brought up in your post, I would also have to agree that it is a force for inequity. I guess, all in all, I’m still in a bit of a predicament with this one. Do you think it’s possible for a single thing to be both a force for something but also a force against something?

    Like

    1. Hey Tiana!
      I think that it can be possible. In my mind I think technology can be a force for equity, but the only reason we can’t say that for sure is because of limited access to technology for some people. If technological access was fair and everyone was granted what they needed than of course it would be equitable! But because so many are left behind, regardless if technology is helpful, it’s hard to call it equitable for everyone.

      Like

  3. Hey Shaleen,
    Great post! I really enjoyed how had both debater’s videos on your post! I have yet to learn how to do that. You mentioned how programs such as EYES are available to everyone but it may not be a possibility for some due to circumstances such as family duties and other reasons. That is very true, some students only have time for school during school hours and their after-school life may be full of responsibilities that are much more important than attending an after-school program or using a computer at a public library. As Lauren commented about access to technology is one thing and the medium of technology is another is very important. A student may have a cellphone but would you want to type out an essay on a cellphone? I wouldn’t. Also, the quality of the piece of technology is important as well as programs on it. I know from experience; many computers do not have Microsoft programs on them as Google Drive has replaced it since it is free. What happens if a student needs to make a Microsoft PowerPoint and they do not have it and cannot afford it? It is up to us as educators to make sure assignments are made for everyone to complete without worry.
    Until next time,
    Jayden

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s