So I finished this post Thursday night and tried a feature that was new to me on WordPress: scheduling a post. I scheduled this post to publish the following morning (Friday) at 9am. I was so excited for this feature since my Fridays are usually really busy and it is hard to find time! Therefore I scheduled the post on Thursday night to post Friday and assumed that the site had done what I had planned it to do. Alas it seems after checking it tonight that unfortunately it had not posted my blog post when I had scheduled it for. Therefore here is my post from Friday, despite it being Sunday night! I will look into this feature more in the future and certainly be more wary of the site overall this semester!
This week was all about equity vs. equality in Connected Learning. I thought I would do some research via a few Connected Learning tools (Google, Twitter, Hypothesis etc.) about this topic to learn a little bit more and help myself better understand.
- Connected Learning and the Unclear Road to Equity http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/edtechresearcher/2013/02/connected_learning_and_the_unclear_path_to_equity.html This was the first article I found that discussed the topic of Connected Learning and equity. I thought this article brought up several interesting points, including: “Without this focus on equity and collective outcomes, any educational approach or technical capacity risks becoming yet another way to reinforce the advantage that privileged individuals already have.” I find it so true in this modern age that while adding technology to learning sounds like a great idea, it can often widen the gap between the rich and the poor more easily that it can close it. When technology is a cost that affluent families are willing to pay without question for the good of their child’s education, and that poorer families see the benefit in but struggle to afford, how does one reach equity? Our district has an initiative in which all students at the high school level are given a laptop, issued by the district. This eliminates at least the inequality in access to technology at the upper education levels. However, as an elementary teacher I work with many students who are immigrants or who come from very poor families. While many of my affluent students have easy access to a computer (sometimes even a personal one) at home, my poverty stricken students struggle to get a hold of any computer access. This makes it difficult to assign any assignments through technological means (such as GoogleDrive or Blackboard) without requiring my less affluent students to stay in at recess, or come before or after school to get access to a computer. I realize that technology is completely useful in the classroom, but at what expense to those that it does not come affordable to?
- In Pursuit of Educational Equity – http://clalliance.org/resources/in-pursuit-of-educational-equity/ This was a great video I found that discusses the idea of educational equity and why we need to work towards it as an education system. One fact that shocked me in this video was that “more than 50% of elementary kids are in poverty.” This is a terrifying statistic and one that makes me realize that if we want to be a competitive nation with top performing students, we need to ensure that all students have access to technology and innovation, not just those in the top 10% that can afford it.
- Another website that was mentioned in the above video was: http://educatorinnovator.org/ This is a great website full of lots of resources about connected learning and how to make it accessible to all. The website offers so many different resources, from links to different events that students can participate in online, to webinars that students and teachers can watch, and challenges that can be implemented in the classroom. This website seems like such a great resource and one that I will bookmark and come back to often to help build equity in my classroom.
- @connect_learn is a great twitter account that I have started following recently. This twitter handle posts often about topics related to Connected Learning and is a great resource for articles and ideas!
- @TechnologyEd is another twitter account I started following this week. It is an account that posts regularly about technology in education and different ways to incorporate it in to lessons each day. There are a lot of STEM ideas posted by this account that I plan to use in my classroom to help build equity into my lessons and provide opportunities for all my students.