Why Education Technology Business Leaders Should Lead with Equity in Mind
Educational equity is a concern with ensuring that all learners are given an equal chance to succeed. That means that even a kid from a lower socio-economic status or a kid whose first language is not English, or a kid from a minoritized community is given the same opportunities to develop their talents and potential as a kid from a privileged background. Unfortunately, the history of educational policy and law has shown that sometimes ancillary concerns have overridden a commitment to equity in education.
There are most gaps and problems in the current system that desperately need to be addressed. Needless to say, it’s a daunting task. And it’s sometimes politically difficult. But it is an important component of ensuring that the educational system reflects core American values, principles, and promises.
So if education technology is going to be a significant player in the educational arena, then education technology needs to think about equity. In other words, education technology company leaders should lead with equity in mind. They need to ensure that their products meet the needs of learners from a variety of learner populations. They must ensure that their products are not considered as low-cost substitutes for quality teaching. They must focus on the needs of each individual learner.
Ideally, education technology leaders should think of equity not as a box to check to be appealing to those stakeholders who are making buying decisions but instead as part of the ethical commitments of their business model. It may require providing more resources to the “ed” side and less to the “tech” side to ensure that materials are created by and vetted by experts in the field of educational equity.
It may mean creating software that can be used by learners whose first language is not English or designing an app easily used by a kid with a cognitive disability. It may require developing cultural competence for various communities to ensure that education technology products are appropriate for the full range of learners. It may not be easy, but it is consistent with the obligations of working in the education field, and it is necessary for the future success of society as a whole.
It’s a complicated task that requires expertise in several fields. Fortunately, various groups can aid your efforts.