Seeking Equity

Happy Monday! So great to see so many of you in person this past week; if you weren’t able to join us, here is a quick link to the archive and related google doc. Also, I love your Find 5s — very nicely done!

Some interesting questions I noticed browsing through (my own 5fs):

  1. … could teachers already be the ultimate social network?
  2. What is your equity vision for students in your classroom?
  3. He is definitely born in the wrong age or he time traveled?
  4. I just wonder what way we can both measure a student’s outcomes but also not destructively label them as well…?
  5. Does that mean our blogosphere is a MakerSpace in the broadest sense of the word? And that MakerSpaces are a form of connected learning?!


A key goal of this class is to design connected learning opportunities for learners and for teachers that are geared towards equity. But what do we mean by equity? And how do we get there?

Mimi Ito and Justin Reich say, in a recently released report titled From Good Intentions to Real Outcomes: Equity by Design in Learning Technologies, say:

We stand at the cusp of widespread adoption of new technologies that have the potential to both radically reduce or exacerbate existing forms of educational inequity. A concerted push for research, innovation, and joint action around a common purpose of deploying learning technologies in the service of equity could dramatically enhance our understanding of how new technologies can truly democratize education.

While Nicole Mirra reminds us that connecting learning and teaching is not simply learning technologies, learning technologies – and networked technologies, in general – do have a great impact on the ways that we work, live and relate to each other today, both in and outside of schools. Colleagues of mine from the San Diego Area Writing Project spent some time also inquiring into the smart use of technology in support of equity and have defined equity for themselves as anything that supports the “the full human talent development of every student, and all groups of students.” Read this related article, Smart Tech Use for Equity, from Teaching Tolerance to learn about their work and a summary of their findings.

What about aspects of learning such as curiosity in education? How equitably are we thinking about opportunity there? Here is this weekend’s panel discussion from EduCon 2018 exploring that exact question (note: skip ahead to about 26:00 to find the beginning):

Let’s now turn to a widely circulated image on the web you might have run into meant to support distinguishing equity from equality (Amy found a version of this in her post this week too).

If you haven’t seen this, read more about The Evolution of an Accidental Meme: How one little graphic became shared and adapted by millions by it original creator Craig Froehle.

Also make sure to read this important set of reframing by organizer Paul Kuttner in his blog post The problem with that equity vs. equality graphic you’re using.


Starting with the syllabus, I quoted Juliet Shor from a 2013 webinar called Connected Learning As Pathway to Equity & Opportunity:

New institutions and new practices, as they arise in a highly unequal and stratified society … will take on those inequalities unless they are actively combated.

This week’s make is meant to support us in imagining how we might get into this fight for equity. We will be using an alternative image/remix of the Equality/Equity graphic and following the questions of a related making project titled #The4thBox from the Center For Story-based Strategy and Interaction Institute for Social Change.

Check out #The4thBox and make a 4th image of your own. Use it to discuss the importance of not just telling a different version of the same story, but of actually changing the story (by challenging assumptions). Questions from this project include:

  • What other story could be revealed in this setting?
  • What other “psychic break” could you make up?
  • What other underlying assumption here could you challenge?
  • Who built that wall in the first place and/or who took it away?

On their website they have paper cut-outs and a digital remix version. Feel free to add and use other materials and imagery.

I also encourage you to bring in resources from our last two weeks of class so far; for example, drawing from our previous readings, what would change if we wondered what about the interests of the kids? How might, in the words of Dewey, the matter at hand be of “immediate and personal concern, even to the point of actual participation?” How do social interactions fit in here? Where are the kids own stories? How do social and network technologies play in? What about connected learning and teaching?

If you want to go deeper thinking about this in relation to education, below are a few resources that may support your thinking about equity in education in particular (feel free to suggest others too in your blog posts or Find 5s this week):

Share what you make and/or reflections about what you make/remix, on your blog.


How can you connect to other educators working to build equity in the area/s you have been exploring so far? This week try to make at least 5 new connections that you think might help you to continue to think about equity and connected learning throughout the semester.

These connections can be to individuals, resource sites, blogs, organizations, coalitions, subscriptions to newsletters, following on Facebook, Twitter, and the like. They even can be in-person and not online – radical!

Here are a few tips … While you are reading the links above, do you notice the different ways that media is being used throughout? What hashtags are you noticing? What educators names can you click on to learn more about? Who can you google to find them blogging or tweeting online about similar issues? What new blogs or learning forums do these resources connect you to? Are there physical locations where things are happening? Are there online events coming up that you can connect to?

Tech Tips

Twitter: In case you are curious about twitter and don’t know where to start, here are a few links that might be helpful.

Hyperlinks: When making links within your Find 5s, try to make hyperlinks instead of posting the messy/impossible-to-read link itself. Here’s a digital writing 101 tutorial how.

Embed media: If you really want to be fancy, learn to embed media right into your blog post. Here’s a tutorial on video embed on WordPress. If you use another kind of blog, I’m sure you can find tutorials on that too.

In Connected Learning Solidarity,

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