Equity vs. Equality

In last weeks debate we discussed if technology is a force for equity in society. We had Ryan (pro) vs. Kaytlyn (con).

The Pre debate vote, was the closely divided vote yet!

For the initial voted that I disagreed with the statement that technology is a force for equity in society.

Ryan started off strong with some really good ideas that he shared in his video!

Prior to this debate I never thought of how beneficial technology can be for those with disabilities. Ryan went into great depth explaining this, and even using the example of Stephen Hawking. He also explored the ideas of how technology enhancing education in the world and it gives a voice to the youth. He had us read about Dell’s Youth Learning Initiative, where dell helps provides technologies to youth around the world, in hopes that this will help them grow and further their learning. The Guardian wrote an article which explores how technology has empowered the youth. Over five billion people around the world now have access to the internet, this is causing people to break down barriers, and it is giving students a way to connect with people around the world. It is also giving them the opportunity to further their own education, and what type of information that they find. In many ways technology is creating equity in society, it is giving people with disabilities opportunities that they never had before, and it is empowering people around the world.

Next we heard from Katelyn who was debating that Technology is not a force for equity in society.

Katelyn had some fantastic points that she made. She started off by discussing the issue of access. Not every school has access to internet, especially schools in rural communities. As well the internet costs money, so some schools are unable to afford this because they are running other types of programs, such as before/ after school programs, and hot meal programs. The next article we read discusses what happens to students who do not have internet access at home. Even if schools are equal and every student has access to a computer, what about those who do not have internet access at home, therefore they are unable to complete the same school work as their peers. Finally we are brought to the point of the Digital Divide. This was coined in the 1990’s to describe the divide which has been created by those with access to computers compared to those who do not. This gap has drastically closed throughout the years as devices become cheaper and more affordable and there is much more access, however this gap is still relative.

To close out our debate we had our second class poll, this was the result:

You could probably guess where I ended up? As usually I ended with more questions then answers, standing in the middle of the road. This is why I titled this blog post Equity vs. Equality. Equality means everyone gets the same, while equity means everyone gets what they need to be equal with the rest. When looking at people who have disabilities, technology has definetely caused equity, it’s giving them opportunities that they have never been able to have before. However on the other hand technology is causing deficits for those who do not have access to these programs at home. I think technology is a great tool to use in classrooms, but as teachers we need to be aware of the demographic that we are teaching, and make sure that how we are teaching is inclusive of all students.

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One thought on “Equity vs. Equality

  1. Hey Liz!
    I love the approach you took with this post! The equity vs. equality consideration is something we definitely need to explore when it comes to this debate! I think the two terms get mixed up a lot and I even find myself needing to get some clarification regarded which one I am talking about! I think you made a really great point with discussing how technology is a powerful tool in the classroom but we need to consider our student demographic, what’s available to them, and how best to meet the needs of all the students. This is definitely no easy task! So many things to consider and weigh in the decision and implementation processes!
    Lauren

    Like

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