Technology as Social Change: Affirming Diversity, Educating for Equity, and Advancing Social Justice
Type: Best Practices
Rajni Shankar-Brown, Stetson University, United States
Tuesday, March 27 12:00-12:15 PM
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Abstract: PreK-12 schools and higher education programs are situated within a rapidly changing, increasingly diverse, global society. Our world is filled with pervasive inequalities, including widening socioeconomic, racial and gender gaps. The causes and the effects of socioeconomic, racial and gender inequalities on teaching and learning merits the immediate attention of all educational stakeholders. Mindfully using technology to increase educational access and impact offers significant opportunities to advance social justice and sustain hope. Education preparation programs, including teacher education and educational leadership, must help candidates develop the knowledge and skills to build and sustain equitable learning environments. Multimodal technological platforms, including vodcasting and collaborative global connections, provide viable pathways to affirm diversity and expand equitable learning opportunities. Pervasive inequalities, shifting demographics, and an ever-changing global economy require us to rethink how we address systems of oppression in PreK-12 schools, higher education, communities, and the larger world. Innovative utilization of technology platforms in education provides promising solutions to many complex issues, including efforts to tackle classism, racism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of systemic injustice. This presentation will discuss the idea of technology as social change and share educational technology resources to promote equity and justice.
- Participants will identify complex social inequalities within a global context
- Participants will recognize technology as a vehicle for social change
- Participants will discover various technology tools for teaching and learning that promote equity
- Participants will determine how information technology can advance social justice
I. Share information on today's global society
II. Examine social inequalities and education
III. Share the need and importance of collective social justice efforts and the vital role of technology
IV. Discuss the idea of technology as social change
V. Highlight and demonstrate information technology ideas that affirm diversity and promote equity
VI. Share additional resources for teaching, learning, and further exploration
Experience teaching and learning; Understanding of different educational environments.
Rajni Shankar-Brown, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and the Jessie Ball duPont Endowed Chair of Social Justice Education at Stetson University. Prior to working in higher education, she taught public school and worked with educational organizations in the United States and overseas. She is the Founder and Director of the Poverty and Homelessness Conference (PHC), President of the Stetson Chapter of the American Association for University Professors (AAUP), Chair of Stetson’s ALANA-IA Caucus, and a Past-President of NC Middle Level Education. Dr. Shankar-Brown is an internationally recognized scholar in the areas of curriculum and instruction, diversity and equity, human rights, and social justice education. She recently received the Florida Campus Compact Engaged Scholar Faculty Award and is a recipient of both the Jessie Ball duPont Summer Seminar Fellowship by the National Humanities Center and the UNCW Inclusive Excellence Award. She is widely published, including in top tier education journals, and has presented and facilitated professional development workshops on equity education around the globe. Her research focuses on justice issues and transformative education, specifically dedicated to closing the opportunity gap and advancing educational excellence for socially marginalized, wounded students. She is a member of several editorial and advisory boards, and she is actively involved with professional organizations at international, national, state and local levels. Dr. Shankar-Brown is the Co-Chair of the Equity and Social Justice SIG for the International Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH). In addition to being a committed teacher-scholar, she is a passionate mother, multi-media artist, and social activist.
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