Intended and Unintended Consequences of Educational Technology on Social Inequality


While much has been written in the field of educational technology regarding educational excellence and efficiency, less attention has been paid to issues of equity. Along these lines, the field of educational technology often does not address key equity problems such as academic achievement and attainment gaps, and inequality of educational access and opportunity. In this paper, we survey research regarding persistent inequality issues related to (a) educational access and (b) educational opportunity in the U.S. education system. Furthermore, we discuss intended and unintended consequences of educational technology on social equality. We then conclude with a discussion of how educational technology researchers and practitioners should consider the broader social context in which their work is conducted and the intended and unintended consequences it might have on social inequality.

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