Social Justice Computing
This October I will turn 62 years old, and the question of retirement, already a possibility, will be coming closer. Just how long I remain in the education game as an information and communication technology (ICT) teacher will depend for the most part on how directly doing so allows me engage in social justice computing.
What do I mean by "social justice computing"? In the broadest sense, it means that as an ICT professional I am able to use the tools of my trade toward the social justice aims that ought to be the central focus of all 21st century humans, aims which economist Kate Raworth presented graphically in her book Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist:
At the very minimum, this means continuing both my decades long contribution toward the de-commodification of software as an activist in the free software movement, and the de-commodification of educational resources as a contributor of open educational resources (OER), but I'm hoping for more.
This year offers the further promise of being able to directly contribute towards next systems economic thinking through Code for NOVA's planned partnership with The Democracy Collaborative and the Next Systems Studies program at GMU, and my trip to Liberia this Summer is resulting in an emerging plan to engage a group of MCSS students in a social justice computing project aimed at their particular needs.
Things Are Coming Together in Week 5
Last Saturday the long awaited shipment of laptop computers arrived. MCSS has been officially on holiday Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for Liberia's Independence Day celebration, but Spencer and I came in on Monday to setup the lab with the new computers. With Spencer and I working together, we were able to setup the whole lab in half the time it would have taken me alone.
When students arrive to class tomorrow, they will find the lab transformed. The laptops are much newer computers than the old desktops they are replacing, and they will play sounds and connect together through the wireless network. They also take up much less space and make the lab look a whole lot nicer.
I'll take pictures of the new setup and share them in my next post.