After the debate a few nights ago regarding technology as a force for equity in society, I had a lot of thoughts running through my head. I liked many of the points that Ryan had brought up in his video before the debate, but much of what he said wasn’t discussed further. Which made me question how much we actually viewed technology as a force for equity. Yet Kaytlyn argued many points about why technology isn’t always the answer to creating an equitable society. Which was very convincing as to why we shouldn’t rely solely on technology to provide all the answers.
One of the articles that Ryan shared with us titled Technology can empower children in developing countries – if it’s done right, has a quote that I found very impactful but mostly argues that we shouldn’t be afraid of bring technology into classrooms of young people, it doesn’t really highlight technology as a tool for equity. This quote states, “Young people are natural adopters of new technologies and certainly the potential for technology and digital media to be a force for innovation, education and change is just beginning to be realised.” There is great potential for technology in the classroom, but the article as a whole only looks at 3rd world countries and fails to look at our own local statistics. The article also doesn’t take into account that there is still a good sized portion of people who cannot afford and don’t have access to these technologies outside of school time. Giving them access in school starts to remove the equity fence that we talked about, but it really only took off enough boards that the student can now fit their head through to watch, they still can’t fully participate.
Tinkering Spaces: How Equity Means More Than Access is an article provided to us by Kaytlyn, this article talks about the Maker Movement and how most schools can’t afford to create a fancy Maker lab, or even get the techy materials that we often envision when we think about a Maker Space. But often places found that their most successful Maker activities where for things like sewing, which is by no means something new or fancy, but it caused the students to build relationships with others in their community. To me building relationships with the people around you is more important then any fancy techy tool. but maybe that’s just me…
I do honestly think that if we had technology that we could share if everyone that it could help to create equity, but we can’t rely solely on technology to solve all of our problem. Technology is not the answer to world hunger, it is not going to cause everyone to be a decent person. To go back to the idea of the fence, technology can help us to remove a few boards off of the fence, but technology is never going to be the reason that the fence disappears. At some point to get rid of that fence you are going to need to help of ANOTHER PERSON (shocker, we need others to help our selves)!! To answer the riddle of our debate, no technology is the be all end all force of equity in society.