How Edtech Can Boost your Social Mobility
Brookings Institute has determined that “The conventional thinking among economists is that income inequality provides incentives for individuals to invest more in order to achieve the higher income position in society, but … if low-income youth view middle-class life as out of reach, they might decide to invest less in their own economic future.”
Without intervention, economically disadvantaged youth may give up on their social mobility, and yet many of these students may not realize that they have access to the one tool that can help them boost their social mobility: edtech.
Low socioeconomic status youth thrive when they have a supportive network that encourages their progress and offers new alternatives. Ultimately, it’s social capital that makes a difference in children’s lives because social mobility increases the likelihood of personal success.
What about college?
Edtech can boost social mobility by allowing for informed decision-making, especially when it comes to higher ed.
Most middle and high schools tout the importance of getting a college degree. It’s the right choice for many students because a college or university degree can increase social capital. Economically disadvantaged youth may not realize that they could finance their education with loans. Furthermore, some of the loans could be forgiven, depending on career and location choices after college.
On the other hand, college might not be the right choice for every student, regardless of socio-economic status, but a student who understands what’s available can make better career decisions.
Educational technology makes understanding the process easier than ever for students considering college. Students can search colleges and universities online to compare programs, entrance requirements, and even the average salaries of graduates.
Students can continue to boost their social mobility with apps that help them catch up with peers. For example, English Language Learners can use online dictionaries to assure comprehension, and they also may want to make use of scholarly notation apps like EasyBib or keep track of their schedules and class notes with Evernote.
For some students, using edtech to boost social mobility may be as simple as learning how to use the tools in their hands.
Digital mobile devices have made learning finger-tip accessible. Schools and teachers that encourage BYOD tech policies are helping students access social mobility channels, especially if they can assure that students who do not have mobile device access are connected during school and outside the school day.
Using social media platforms like Google Hangout can boost the likelihood of social mobility by giving youth a forum in which to chat and explore new ideas with peers.