Heading into Equity Unbound #UnboundEq

So Maha Bali is someone I follow a lot.  She's an amazing and critical educator, inviting social justice advocate, and engaging academic twitter-user along with two colleagues, Mia Zamora, and Catherine Cronin,  have launched a new open course for people to engage with called Equity Unbound

You can check out the ongoing dialogue on Twitter by checking out the hashtag #UnboundEq.

They explain the course as such "Equity Unbound is an emergent, collaborative curriculum which aims to create equity-focused, open, connected, intercultural learning experiences across classes, countries and contexts.  Equity Unbound was initiated by Maha Bali @bali_maha (American University in Cairo, Egypt), Catherine Cronin @catherinecronin (National University of Ireland, Galway), and Mia Zamora @MiaZamoraPhD (Kean University, NJ, USA) for use in their courses this term (September-December 2018), but it is open to all.

Equity Unbound is for learners and/or educators at all levels (e.g. undergraduate, postgraduate, professional development) who are interested in exploring digital literacies with an equity and intercultural learning focus, in an open and connected learning environment."  

The description alone is enough to get me excited.  When I love about that description is that it invokes so many of elements of education that I am engaged in and thinking about.  I feel like partaking of this course is likely to be a self-aware journey into intersectionality in ways that weave together different kinds of intersectionality that I have learned about but never pieced together (e.g. digital divides, digital redlining, international education, border-guarding, knowledge ownership and copyright restrictions).  It just seems to me things that hit upon so many of the large systematic elements of inequity in our world and weaves them through an asset-based approach to empower more folks to level those barriers to opportunities and education. Or at least that's my hope right?  

On of the first questions posted was the following:

""Much interest in @UnboundEq hopefully an indication that ppl want to talk about equity issues together from around the world.  If u followed recently, I wonder what attracted u most about #unboundeq (critical feedback/suggestions also welcome)""

I have it some serious thought and came up with my reply in a series of three tweets:

"professionally: I want to deepen my understanding of the tension between technology & equity, with the hopes of finding ways to thinking more effectively about how to use technology... #unboundeq"

"socially:  I want to strengthen relationships & learn from & with more amazing people within this realm of #HigherEd & beyond...."

personally:  Within my cultural context, I epitomize privilege, which means if I'm not regularly engaging in equity-learning & practices, then I'm mostly reinforcing the inequity built into the system, which often reinforces my own privileges...and that bothers me a lot...

A Starting Reading List

They have a really good reading list that I plan to delve in (though some of which I am familiar with).  But before delving into this course, I thought I would take some time to reflect on some of the key texts that I have read and plan to revisit as I take this course.  Obviously, a lot of the books that I discussed in my Books for White Folks series are relevant to prime me for this course (you can see the full list of books on GoodReads), and I've read a fair share of books on technology and social media as well as books on teaching and learning.  However, I wanted to highlight the following books as what I can imagine as essential texts in thinking about equity in education and technology, so I would encourage you in general to check them out but also if you are thinking about taking the Unbound Equity course.  
  • The Ethics of Invention: Technology and the Human Future by Shelia Jasanoff
  • Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang
  • Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble
  • The People Vs Tech: How the Internet Is Killing Democracy by Jamie Bartlett
  • Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension by Samuel Arbesman
  • Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech by Sara Wachter-Boettcher
  • Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O'Neil

Are you taking the Unboudy Equity course in some way?  Are you interested in it?  What do you think about the course as it is described and structured?  What kinds of ways do you think about and address the ideas in the course's description?

Did you enjoy this read? Let me know your thoughts down below or feel free to browse around and check out some of my other posts!. You might also want to keep up to date with my blog by signing up for them via email.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.