Building a Healthy Social Fabric
Educators (and their harshest critics) know that the purpose of education goes beyond the development of skills and the dissemination of knowledge. In both K-12 and higher education, students are socialized into communities and encouraged to build relationships with peers that help form the social fabric of our society. We can see the formation of these networks enacted through social media, building the social graph that can then be leveraged for personal, civic, and professional opportunities. But what is the role of educators in nurturing these social relationships? And what role should edtech play in helping students build strategic bonds? The work of connecting people and building community in educational institutions is age-old, but it is implicit and often invisible. Yet, if our goal is to create a more equitable and less polarized society, we must turn our attention to how these networks are formed and what we can do to build a healthier social fabric. In this talk, Danah Boyd will examine the social infrastructures that are built through education and offer suggestions for how educators, administrators, librarians, and edtech professionals can work together toward a more just, equitable, and respectful world through the strategic development of social connections.
Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research New York City, Microsoft Corporation