Welcome to Week 2! Check out the intro video from our facilitators to get started with the weeks content.

What do we mean when we talk about diversity, equality, equity, inclusion? What does it mean to center equity and inclusion in our teaching? Where does agency fit into this?

Let’s first recognize that oppression is multi-faceted and multi-layered. This video using Legos to demonstrate the 4 I’s of Oppression neatly summarizes so many examples of oppression (which create inequity) in just over 3 minutes:

For a brief unpacking of the terms “Diversity”, “Inclusion”, “Equity” and “Justice”, follow the Twitter thread below (when you open it, you will see several tweets):

If you are interested in further unpacking the terms and problematizing them, you could read this blogpost or listen to this podcast episode by Maha Bali.

So what does “equity” or “justice” look like in digital spaces? Digital spaces here can be the digital spaces where we teach, or the digital networks where we interact with others. Who has power and privilege in a space? How can we design and facilitate these spaces so that everyone experiences “parity of participation” (i.e. everyone has equal power to participate beyond superficial “inclusion”? Reflecting on modality from last week, how does the power dynamic shift when some of our students are able to be in-person and others are joining virtually, such as in a Hyflex situation? How does the power shift between synchronous and asynchronous learning spaces?

Activities this week will encourage you to look at the specific oppressions or barriers your students may face in your context, and think about what kind of strategies (at whatever level of granularity) you can apply, in design and facilitation, to promote equity.

Activities to Choose From

  • Zoom sync event: To explore digital equity in synchronous sessions,
    • Read Autumm Caines’ Zoom Gaze article and consider the different levels of power and control that video conferencing brings to different spaces – classes, meetings, social events.
    • Participate in the Liberating Structures synchronous session, where we will experience some approaches to promoting equitable conversations, then critique them. There are two possible dates/times to choose from. Either Tuesday June 15th at 11am (register here) OR Wednesday June 16th at 8am (register here).
  • Twitter: To explore digital equity in asynchronous/semi-synchronous networked spaces, participate in the discussion on Twitter, which will occur as a “slow chat”:
    • If you are participating using Twitter, be sure to include #DigPINS with your tweets!
    • If you are uncomfortable trying out Twitter, you can also participate in the discussion in Slack using the #week2 channel.
  • Create: Write a blog post! You can reflect on anything related to the week, or you could try your hand at adapting the Roumy Cheese Analogy for equitable education created by Maha Bali. You can take a copy of the slide deck and replace the oppressions and strategies with your own – and then post that up on your blog! Here is a quick image to give you an idea of what the Roumy Cheese Analogy looks like:
Roumy Cheese Analogy by Maha Bali CC-BY-SA. Each "virus" represents a kind of oppression e.g. racism, classism, abelism, etc. Large ones represent( systemic) vs small ones (individual). The cheese slices represent different things an educator can do to counter oppression such as "culturally relevant pedagogy" or "trauma-informed pedagogy" or  "Universal Design for Learning" or "building community" or institutional policies for alternative grading. Roumy cheese has holes in it, so that each strategy could let the "virus" through (the oppression), so we need multiple layers to stop all the oppressions from preventing our students from learning/succeeding. Black peppercorns represent things that some people like but others find harmful or uncomfortable.
Roumy Cheese Analogy by Maha Bali CC-BY-SA. Each “virus” represents a kind of oppression e.g. racism, classism, abelism, etc. Large ones represent( systemic) vs small ones (individual). The cheese slices represent different things an educator can do to counter oppression such as “culturally relevant pedagogy” or “trauma-informed pedagogy” or “Universal Design for Learning” or “building community” or institutional policies for alternative grading. Roumy cheese has holes in it, so that each strategy could let the “virus” through (the oppression), so we need multiple layers to stop all the oppressions from preventing our students from learning/succeeding.

Readings

Read: Intentionally Equitable Hospitality if you are interested in exploring ways in which you as a teacher can be “hospitable” in ways that intentionally center equity, especially if students participate in multiple modalities. This work is based on what the co-authors learned working between modalities in a global context with the Virtually Connecting – a Connectivist learning movement.

Read: Joe Murphy’s post on Universal Design for Teaching. You’ve maybe heard of Universal Design for Learning (if not, there is a podcast episode linked in Joe’s post) – but if we want to create equitable, inclusive environments for students, shouldn’t we think of how to create equitable, inclusive environments for educators (teachers and those who support them in their teaching)? This brief post by Joe asks questions and offers suggestions worth considering!

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