Education and technology are often described as solutions that can relieve conditions of poverty. Yet within school environments, where educators and technology developers generally hold more power than students, it will require conscious effort to facilitate freedom – not only through changes in education policy, curriculum, and learning goals, but also via the reduction of inequity. This aspiration requires not only ubiquitous access to mobile devices and the internet, but also the opportunity for students to use technology to support action that constructively facilitates positive social change.
The preceding sections describe how educators and technology developers might support reduced hunger and fear, and increased liberation, through a reframing of the relationship between students, technology, and knowledge. Rather than using technology to transmit information from a position of power, technology can enable students to find their voices, question authority, and build knowledge collaboratively. However, the creation and dissemination of knowledge can empower students from low-income households only to the extent that it is grounded in their experiences and aligned with their emerging identities.
Like decolonization, hunger, fear, and liberation are not metaphors. Progress requires tangible improvements in nutrition, safety, social interactivity, and academic freedom, and these can be achieved only through the inclusion of students from low-income households in decision-making processes related to what and how they learn. In order to address the underlying causes of economic and political oppression, educators and technology developers must create opportunities for these students to interrogate the realities and contradictions of poverty, education, and technology. Epistemic agency and knowledge building ensure that intellectual growth is not confined to outcomes measurable via standardized assessment. Indeed, it must also encompass new pathways through which individuals and communities can assert control over their own destinies.