I am looking forward to lurking on #HipHopEd tonight. I learn a lot on this chat as I listen. I am drawn to spaces of literacy scholars where words and meaning are seen first as tools of both agency and oppression. Tonight I will be looking forward to curating inspirational quotes.
Our GearUp work with students of color often revolve around the teaching and learning of digital literacies and pedagogies. We have created digital art, written letters to the next president, examined website credibility and created memes.
It is this last element that has me most interested in today's chat. I use memes as a method to include the basics of HTML. It is a the language of HTML using the discourses of youth. Fun stuff. I encourage everyone tonight to try one.
There is so much talk about the diversity problem in tech. This is not just an industry problem or a pipeline problem. It is a societal problem. We are creating a new era of digital imperialism. The segregation of our digital spaces is often much stronger than the analog world.
There are issues of access. Technology simply does not exist in many our poorest communities. Families are often on shifting data plans and pushing up aganist their limit. Mobile first can not be the only solution. In the suburbs big chains offer free wifi. The same chains like McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts post no loitering signs.
There are issues of equity. Based on recent PEW reports students of color have more screen time than their white peers. Yet the quality of the screen and the activity differs greatly. Yet no where are are computers used more for non-creative activity such as testing and remediation than our schools. I have bumped up against this myself when pushing for greater web literacy in schools. Its ths common reframe, "but have you seen there reing scores? I can't spend time on tech."
Newsflash. Tech is how we read and write. It is literacy. No where is this demonstrated more than in places like #HipHopED. Scholars, musicians, activists and artists gather around a cause and use our words to make the world a better place.
So make a meme tonight with an inspirational quote. Then encourage someone else to do the same. Lift the curtain to how tech and code work.