Join us for an author talk with Matthew H. Rafalow about his recent publication, “Digital Divisions: How Schools Create Inequality in the Tech Era.” In addition to hearing about Matthew’s research, we’ll be inviting teachers and students to share how digital divisions have impacted their school experience, especially during COVID-19.
Matt will be donating his first year royalties to CCEJ to support our work with youth online, as we continue to offer programs to help students break down barriers to access caused by racism and other forms of bias and discrimination. More info here: https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/D/bo57273552.html
Date/Time: Thursday, October 29 from 5-6pm (PST)
This online book talk is free. Registration is required. Click here to sign up.
DIGITAL DIVISIONS: HOW SCHOOLS CREATE INEQUALITY IN THE TECH ERA
Education researchers struggle with the fact that students arrive at school already shaped by their unequal childhoods. Would we see greater gains among less privileged students if they had a more level playing field?
I wrestle with these questions in Digital Divisions: How Schools Create Inequality in the Tech Era (University of Chicago Press, August 2020) by studying digital technology use at three middle schools. In the contemporary moment, kids’ digital skills appear in the form of their digital play with peers, like through social media use, video gaming, and creating online content. Drawing on six hundred hours of observation and over one hundred interviews with teachers, administrators, and students, Digital Divisions documents how teachers treat these very similar digital skills differently by school demographic. The book updates class-focused theories of cultural inequality by showing how racism and school organizational culture determine whether students’ digital skills can help them get ahead in class.
Matt Rafalow is a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society and a social scientist at Google. His research examines digital technology use and educational inequality, particularly along race and class. His new book, Digital Divisions: How Schools Create Inequality in the Tech Era (University of Chicago Press, out in August), examines how teachers treat students’ very similar digital skills differently by the race and class of their student body. He is also coauthor of Affinity Online: How Connection and Shared Interest Fuel Learning (NYU Press, 2018). This book evaluates learning processes in our digitally networked era, identifying best practices from a series of case studies.