This week we are exploring cultural and linguistic diversity. I am quite excited about this topic because of my experience and interest in working across a diverse range of educational contexts. My passion for educational technology has led to me to some amazing experiences including implementing an online learning program at a school in the UAE, restoring a somewhat ancient computer-lab to working condition in a rural Thai school and working on mobile-learning project in public schools across Malawi.

All of these experiences working with technology in education settings were impacted and made unique by their cultural and linguistic practices. For example in the UAE, I explored how students communication style impacted on online learning pedagogies. And in Malawi the project I was/am on, used bilingual apps in English and Chichewa and culturally relevant activities to engage student.

After skimming through the course readings and applying my educational technology lens there are several themes, ideas and questions that have naturally evolved. All of these are lines of inquiry I would love to follow up.

Culture, Language and Online Learning

  • Why is it important to consider culture in online learning practices?
  • How can we cater for diverse communication styles in online learning environments?
  • Who decides what is appropriate learning content? Analysing content for learning through a cultural perspectives and regulation.
  • Comparing online learning practices across district, regional and national levels.

Educational Technology in Schools

  • Identifying cultural bias in apps
  • Analysis of educational technology in “white flight” schools (Ho, 2011., Jakubwicz, 2008)
  • The relationship between state online censorship and digital citizenship curriculum
  • Technology and Racism – how can we equip them with the right tools and attitudes?
  • Do girls and boys view and use technology differently in primary school classrooms? If so Why?
  • Exploring what critical race theory looks like in educational technology (May & Sleeter, 2010)

Diversity in the Educational Technology Industry

  • The impact of women in tech initiatives on high school subject selection amongst girls.
  • Are we making the digital divide larger through lack of diverse language content?
  • To what extent does the culture of EdTech designers and developers impact on their products?
  • History of emojis/avatars – embracing diversity

Course readings

Allen, J. (2010). Improving cross-cultural care and antiracism in nursing education: A literature review. Nurse Education Today30(4), 314-320.

Ho, C. (2011). My School’and others: Segregation and white flight. Australian Review of Public Affairs, 10(1), 1-2.

Jakubowicz, A. (2008). Cultural Diversity in the New Australia: A Four Way Street. In Keynote Address. International Unity in Diversity Conference.

Jakubowicz, A. (2009). Cultural diversity, cosmopolitan citizenship and education: issues, options and implications for Australia. Australian Education Union.

May, S., & Sleeter, C. E. (Eds.). (2010). Critical multiculturalism: Theory and praxis. Routledge.

Robinson,  & Jones Diaz, C. (2006). “It’s more than black dolls and brown paint”. Critical multiculturalism, whiteness and early childhood education. In Diversity and difference in early childhood education, pp. 63-81.