Technology Meets Social Justice

Photo credit: DIPB Images via Flickr cc

As an educator and an individual passionate about social justice, it is important to consider all learning opportunities, potential for change, and the different ways of making a difference.  I hope to encourage my students to be critical thinkers, to be educated and aware of the injustices that people face everyday in the world, and to not turn a blind-eye on important societal matters.

When considering how technology, specifically, as a contributor to social justice movements, reforms, and change, I wonder how this can genuinely be integrated into the classroom.  In my opinion, technology is fully connected to topics such as (digital) citizenship and the ways in which teachers actually want to positively influence their students for the general wellbeing of society.

So, what are some ways in which teachers can utilize technology in a genuine and effective manner that relates to social justice and positive societal and global change?

  • Social Media
    • Utilize tools such as Twitter and blogging to help students connect to other people around the world, understand the true potential within social media such as hashtag activism, and develop an understanding that all individuals have the ability to make contributions and have a voice.  Students can become aware of internet safety and digital citizenship as well as be familiar with the positive opportunities tied to connecting with others online.
  • Digital Storytelling
    • There are so many tools students can use that can incorporate social justice issues.  Learning of history or current events can be demonstrated through tools such as Glogster and Dipity.
  • Presentation Tools
    • Students can demonstrate their learning, share ideas with other students, and collaborate by using tools such as Prezi and Slideshare.
  • Gamification and Coding 
    • Students can learn to apply their knowledge of social justice issues as well as gain skills and competencies through gaming and programming.  As an example, Games for Change is an initiative that focuses on creating and distributing games with social impact and the goal of creating positive humanitarian and global change.
  • Political and Social Movement
    • Students can learn about the opportunities of creating online petitions, recognizing the importance of online presence, and more.
  • Resources and Information
    • The internet is vast and has an incredible amount of information and education available.  Of course, students need to learn to be critical regarding information online.  Nevertheless, the technology of internet provides opportunities that people couldn’t even imagine possible.
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