Los Angeles | In-Person

Can Digital Learning Dismantle the American Class System?

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

A Zócalo/Arizona State University Event
Moderated by Goldie Blumenstyk, Senior Writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education and Author of American Higher Education in Crisis? What Everyone Needs to Know

American higher education reinforces inequality. Can interactive technologies, applied to learning, change that? Unlimited information is now accessible almost anywhere, and the finest university courses in the country can be taken by rural kids too poor to afford college. Unemployed Detroit auto workers have the opportunity to experience immersive education, personalized to their retraining needs, via virtual reality. But the rise of digital learning has challenged assumptions about academic hierarchy, teaching practices, and the cost structure of education—triggering a backlash from scholars who fear the loss of jobs and status. Which technologies can democratize learning and facilitate social mobility? What steps should be taken to make sure technological advances serve those previously left behind by the education system, instead of reinforcing a polarized America’s divisions of wealth and income? Arizona State University president Michael Crow, retired superintendent of the Coachella Valley Unified School District Darryl Adams, University of Maryland University College Provost Marie Cini, and Chief Education Evangelist at Google Jaime Casap visit Zócalo to discuss the promise of technology for remaking America’s class system. 

National Center for the Preservation of Democracy
111 N Central Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Paid parking is available at the Little Tokyo Mall Public Parking Lot (318 E. First St.) Enter from San Pedro Street.

The Takeaway

Yes, Classroom Tech Can Tackle Inequality—but Change Takes Politics and Patience

Digital Education Is Lifting Students While Challenging Academics and Silicon Valley

Even as digital technology has grown exponentially more sophisticated, accessible, and integral to our lives, social inequality has cast a deeper shadow across the United States in recent decades. Simultaneously, …