Earlier this week, I shared a post centered on lack of diversity of online Edtech spaces and in the days since, many conversations were had amongst my POC in Edtech peers about our own experiences and contributions.
Theses kinds of conversations, the difficult ones meant for private POC spaces, are necessary in order to push and support growth amongst each other.
When I started to look for Edtech blogs written by techs of color, it was alarming to learn how many weren’t writing and sharing our work. There were some, but not many. It made the argument about our missing voices almost null and void because..how can we diversify contributions when people aren’t sharing?
As we discussed further, the realities of the lack of such sharing were obvious and real.
Being an educator of color in many schools across the country can be difficult, especially when you are the only one. Being a technologist of color gets even trickier…especially when your reality of being a classroom teacher was one filled with moments that made you question your contributions and worth.
You know…because you’re joining a field that has historically been notorious for silencing people like you.
You can be technically strong, supporting thousands of students and teachers but still question your own voice and contributions because this is the result of not only years and years of living the same cycle of silencing but also often a continued reality when working in schools with peers and administrators who seem to live to “bring the expertise down a few notches.”
Like my mom used to say, “They don’t want you to be smart.”
The beauty of having these conversations behind closed doors and devices is that in that same spirit, we can build each other up. Those of us with experiences and open pathways help steer our sisters and brothers on the intricacies of building and developing an online portfolio of work.
Like a few of my peers, I am lucky to be in a space and career where I don’t experience negativity or forced silencing. This is my privilege and also our collective duty to be the voice, ears and support for those who are not so fortunate.
After much discussion, @EdtechBOC was born. Right now, I’m developing EdtechBloggersofColor.com (Still under development) to be a informational site serving to both amplify work and continue to build community for those of us who tweet, blog and podcast or want to do any of those things.
This week, we’ve have brand new domains purchased and new blogs started because we finally had to have THE TALK about what we needed to do for ourselves to progress the work being done for our kids…work that has been traditionally done in silence.
Waiting for someone to “invite your voice” isn’t an option because we can amplify and advocate while still being active collaborators in all other spaces. Being in all spaces is key.
For those of you wondering why we are pushing for more techs of color to be content creators, aside from the fact that we should…there are real implications of not doing it in this field.
Many of my Edtech peers of color are also goal setting for future growth in technology education. Before even getting an invite to interview, there’s a great chance that you are being searched for what you contribute and your greater academic impact.
This is where the online portfolio, blog or profile becomes even more important. For those wishing to consult, you better believe that it matters.
As my mom says…Give them no reason to deny your worth, aside from their own bias.
Now, I won’t pretend that creating a hashtag and a Twitter account solves the deeper issues that exist but the more that we challenge ourselves in our safe spaces to step out of the safety zone, the stronger our collective becomes.
None of this means that there aren’t contributors of color now. There are so many so please don’t let this blog post permit you to create an excuse for more exclusivity.
Instead, lets be proud of the fact that this medium of online communication and collaboration has created a means of people who share many of the same filtered realities to find each other and change it for ourselves and our students.