How to Get More People of Color into Edtech
With the growth in educational technology over the last few years, the demand for professionals equipped to deal with changes in the industry is sky-high. These jobs are growing much faster than the national average, and often pay more than other technological jobs due to their high demand.
Currently, people of color only make up a small percentage of the world’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) graduates and hold just under a quarter of those jobs. There’s no question that more minorities need to be involved in the educational technology profession–but how?
- Provide interdisciplinary training
Much of the technology discipline centers around rigid, inflexible scientific concepts. However, educational technology requires a great deal of creativity, adaptability, and flexibility. Training programs and career development in this field should emphasize the malleability of the discipline, and allow people of color of any age to be creative in the development and promotion of educational technology.
- Connect minorities to the power of the profession
People of color, statistically, are more drawn to professions that help others. Very few technologies help others as much as educational technology. Displays, demonstrations, and exhibits showing people of color how they can help others through the use of educational technology will help attract more minorities to a field that is otherwise seen as self-serving and clerical in nature. Advertisements for positions in this field should be diverse and welcoming, showing people of color that there are places that need to be filled by them in this profession.
- Endorse clubs and associations
Educational technology should be integrated into all associations developed with people of color in mind, such as Jack and Jill of America. These organizations can educate and help support minorities on their quests to improve and develop educational technology. By sending speakers, reading materials, and invitations to events to these clubs and organizations, more people of color will be attracted to and aware of the field of educational technology.
- Show them why–and how–it matters
People of color should be shown, through classroom demonstrations, informational videos, and other sources, why educational technology is important. College classes should demonstrate how this technology can be used to change learning and to change the world. It must be integrated at all levels so that minorities are both attracted to this field and see its overall value.
The bottom line is that to attract minorities to the field of educational technology, more has to be done to show them why it matters both to them and to others. They need to know that the can make a difference in this field–and then receive the networking and resources necessary to do it.