Digital Learning As A Tool for Equity And Racial Justice In Higher Ed
Access to a quality education can have a profound effect enabling students to reach their full potential. Unfortunately, higher education has historically been unjustly denied to Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students and poverty-affected students for generations. The future of education depends on our ability to better serve these students moving forward, and we believe that equity-centered, student-focused, and anti-racist digital learning strategies are a catalyst for this change.
Over the last year we have seen drastic declines in postsecondary enrollment of students in across all racial categories, but losses were greatest among Black and Indigenous students. While deficit thinking often causes us to conclude that the academic struggles of racially minoritized and poverty-affected students are attributable to innate scholastic deficiencies, the reality is that this county and its systems are inherently anti-poor and anti-BIPOC, because they were founded and predicated upon a racialized, capitalistic value system that assigns more value to lives within the dominant culture than the lives of marginalized populations. This includes our educational system, which is designed to work in the interest of affirming, standardizing, and centering whiteness and, by default, white supremacy. The Every Learner Everywhere Network is working to help colleges and universities pursue equity focused, anti-racist, student centered, faculty-powered, and institution-driven improvements in teaching and learning through the implementation of courseware and other digital tools. We believe that digital courseware can be a catalyst for improving course outcomes for marginalized students by enabling faculty to adapt instruction to students’ needs and capabilities, promoting active and collaborative learning, and providing learners with actionable, timely feedback. While technology alone is unlikely to bring about the improved outcomes we seek, we believe technology has transformative potential when paired with evidence-based teaching practices and faculty trained to address the affective, interpersonal, and situational challenges that Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other minoritized student groups experience. In this session, I will help faculty and institutional leaders understand the historical and current challenges facing Black, Latinx, Indigenous and explore digital learning strategies that center equity and racial justice.