Equity and Technology

This was another great debate and some true colors came shining through as people had to overcome some technical difficulties. I admit I never really considered the equity of people with disabilities and how tech could help close that gap before this debate. Of course I have seen this in real life as talk-to-text brings students words to life but to be honest… physical disabilities aren’t what come to mind when I think of equity in technology. My mind jumped right to socio-economic status and affordability. I was happy to have those viewpoints challenged a little bit within this debate. Jacquie Murray made some good points drawing on previous Indigenous studies classes and how our privilege shape how we see things. Being self-aware is certainly the first step in being more open minded and aware of the needs within your school/classroom.

Nataly and Kalyn did a great job talking about accessibility and adaptability and how we need to do better.

I love a good argument and Victoria and Jasmine  did not let me down. I doubt I was the only one that hadn’t heard the term techno-colonialism . I liked this term and knew immediately that the idea would encompass several concepts covered in ECI832. Who’s flag will fly over this virtual world? How will big companies ensure that they continue to control the digital enterprise? Are open source ideas be nothing more than a Utopian dream? As big corporations fight for control of the internet how will that effect the technical divide?

I think there were some great points brought up by both sides and I still don’t know where my vote falls. I am hopelessly optimistic about the potential of technology to create equity in learning and expression… However, I do not believe we have seen the end of the struggle for control and money that will inevitably keep many marginalized people away from technology.

Published by bradraes7578

Vice Principal at Prince Arthur in Moose Jaw, Sk.

5 thoughts on “Equity and Technology

  1. Great post! I had not heard of “open source ideas” until I read your post. I like the idea, but like you know that the fight for money and control, both by big corporations and within society can sometimes get in the way of great ideas and equality.

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  2. Brad, I have found it hard to side on any of the debates so far as there have been so many thought provoking things brought up. Like you, I am optimistic, but it is hard to fathom how we can create any sort of equity with the power, control, and colonialism in the world. I also had never heard the term techno-colonialism. However, I am a visual learner and the picture of the children sitting in poverty with a device made my heart break. It was like the device was supposed to make up for all the other basic things they weren’t privy too that we take for granted.
    I once traveled to a Lombok, Indonesia to a village called Tetebatu. They were mesmerized by Westerners and always wanted to “practice their English with me”. Many things stood out to me during that trip because I never thought of myself as a “Westerner”. One statement my guide made was that he never wanted until he met Westerners.

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  3. Brad I also had never heard the term ‘techno-colonialism’ until this debate! I am so torn as to what side I sit on…the debaters both had great arguments that you summed up nicely. I hadn’t really thought about the accessibility side of the argument before. Thanks for your thoughts.

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  4. Brad, I have to admit when I read your blog, I had one of those aha moments. When you asked “Whose flag will fly over this virtual world?” I was dumbfounded. I had never taken the time to really think about that concept. When we see all of our information at our fingertips being presented in English, I think my mind just automatically defaults the Internet as a North American phenomenon. Talk about a check your privilege moment. I do agree that the potential of technology to bridge gaps is huge, but like you, I am divided when I think of the marginalization the lack of technological equity causes. Thank you for the thought-provoking statement.

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