Douglas Crets


Giving Credibility to the Shadow Education System

Start Challenging “Fact” That Black People Can’t Benefit from Online Learning

I found a surprising bit of information in a Venture Beat story about the rise of online video sharing, with a quote from Pew’s Lee Rainie. I have always argued that urban blacks (forgive my use of this phrase, but its a commonly used one, no matter that it generalizes the urban experience way too much) have just as much access to interesting online education plays through mobile devices and the Internet as their white peers.

Image from VentureBeat, shows video sharing percentages

Many people argue that black students, poor rural students, and people who don’t have broadband piped into their home are being left out of the education tech game. Intuitively, I didn’t think this was true. Now Rainie talks about the rise of video online and I again questions this assertion:

“Just a few years ago, it appeared rural users weren’t as open to online experiences but now they have caught up,” Rainie said.

One factor in this might be that there so many channels that the barriers to entry to uploading video have vanished. This has created a more diverse representation across all video channels. “Now that businesses, schools, non-profits and individuals can all post easily to these sites, that makes the offering more compelling,” Rainie said.

Another interesting statistic that came from the report is that African-American and Hispanic consumers are more likely to use video-sharing sites than white users.

Maybe urban students and rural students come from a low base, but is it surprising that they are outisharing their white peers? I am not surprised. I have been in urban environments like in the Bronx, where poor students have smartphones and they watch hours of video through those devices.



Filed under: Digital Learning, Influence, Tech, , , , , , ,

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