When we look at the education system I would like to think that there is equity, but is there truly? When we look from country to country, or from province to province, or even at division to division there is such differences that it makes your head spin.
But can technology be a force for equity in society? I think it can. The agree side made some very compelling points that made me agree with them.
Bob and Katherine’s discussion regarding technology assisting those with disabilities really stuck with me. Having students in our school that have various forms of disabilities I began to wonder is there more we (as a school or school division) could doing to make their education experience better? Could various means of technology be this force for equity that we speak of? This got me thinking of some videos I watched that demonstrated the power of technology in assisting people with disabilities. The following videos show how technology has made life and schooling better for two young people.
These two videos demonstrate how technology is making a difference in their lives. Whether it is taking notes in the classroom or communicating at home, technology has the ability to make things better. Assistive technology and the devices associated with it are truly making a difference, Sam and Elle are two that experience the positives of this technology. There are many types of devices or helpful tools available to teachers – 8 Helpful Assistive Technology Tools For Your Classroom. Now many will say that not all people have access to this type of technology but those that can are experiencing things they might never have if they did not have the technology. Therefore, it is making things more “equal” for them if they have access and the training to use them. I now ask myself how can I implement tools like these in my school? The answer is unknown because I do not control the “purse strings” and therefore I cannot “call the shots”. Can I inquiry and research about various tools, you bet, but will anything come of it? I guess there is only one way to find out.
Another point of view that the agree side discussed was how technology is making valuable education more accessible to more people. Once again does it reach everyone, no it doesn’t, but those it can is making their lives better. Even having classes such as EC&1 830 available through the online method has made live better for many of us. Myself and many of my friends that take classes from the University of Regina fully online to enable us to continue to work, not commute hours a day, and remain at home with our families. This type of technology is making it easier for us and giving us the same opportunity as someone living in Regina. Also, many school divisions including South East Cornerstone Public School Division offer online alternatives for students through programs such as Cyber Stone Virtual School. This alternative to in class schooling has many benefits:
- Offers classes not available at certain schools
- Those that are unable to attend school (illness, etc.) can still receive an education
- Gives students an opportunity to do online learning
Cyber Stone offers enough credits that a student could graduate and receive a Grade 12 diploma. There are Level 10, Level 20 and Level 30 courses available. Having access to this gives many the opportunity to receive an education when they may not have been able to due to various issues.
So is technology a force for equity in society? I believe it has the opportunity to in many ways but can and will it reach everyone? No it will not. But those that can access it will benefit from it and have equal opportunities as anyone else.