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A place for all: Bridging the gender gap in edtech

The education technology (edtech) sector holds immense promise for revolutionising learning experiences. However, a glaring gender gap threatens to limit its full potential. Women remain underrepresented in both the development and application of edtech tools. This not only hinders diverse perspectives on learning but also risks perpetuating existing biases in educational content.

For both women and men, being able to harness the potential of digital transformation is a keystone of more sustainable and inclusive economies and societies.

Why does the gender gap matter?

A diverse edtech landscape is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, women bring their perspective to curriculum design and technology development, leading to more inclusive and engaging learning experiences for all students.

Secondly, a lack of female role models discourages young girls from pursuing careers in STEM fields, perpetuating the cycle of underrepresentation. Finally, Societal stereotypes portraying technology as a male domain discourage girls from pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, which form the foundation of EdTech development.

Importance of closing the gap

A varied edtech landscape is not just desirable, but vital. When women actively participate in the design of educational technology, the resulting tools address a broader spectrum of learning styles and needs. This promotes a fair and engaging learning environment for all students. Furthermore, diverse teams are more innovative, resulting in the creation of more successful edtech solutions.

How does edtech help in bridging this gap?

Edtech can be a powerful tool for bridging the gender gap in education by providing:

  • Championing women in edtech leadership: Actively promoting women’s leadership in edtech companies and organisations is essential. This can be achieved through mentorship programs, targeted funding for female-led startups, and industry awards that recognise outstanding women in the field.
  • Collaborative learning: Edtech technologies can help students work collaboratively on projects, improving communication and teamwork skills. Platforms such as Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams enable document sharing, group discussions, and real-time collaboration, fostering a feeling of community and shared learning regardless of gender.
  • Developing gender-inclusive edtech tools: Edtech developers must strive to understand and address gender biases in algorithms and content. This involves incorporating diverse learning styles, using inclusive language, and ensuring representation of women across various professions and fields of study.
  • Encouraging girls’ interest in STEM education: To combat the invisibility of women in STEM disciplines, which discourages girls’ interest, EdTech tools such as Adobe Spark and Canva can help students develop multimedia presentations and digital tales. By highlighting the accomplishments of women in STEM and edtech on these platforms, girls can be motivated by relatable role models and picture themselves following similar paths.
  • Promoting flexible work arrangements: The tech sector, which includes edtech, is sometimes associated with long, hard workdays. It is possible to increase the accessibility of professions in EdTech for women with family responsibilities by providing flexible work arrangements, remote work opportunities, and on-site childcare facilities.
  • Removing geographical hindrances: Bridging the geographic gap in education, language learning apps like Duolingo and Memrise offer a powerful solution. These tools can be used offline, empowering girls in remote areas with the ability to continue their education independently.

By providing access to quality language learning resources, these edtech tools can break down barriers and open doors to new opportunities. By strategically using these edtech tools and fostering a culture of inclusion, we can bridge the gender gap in edtech and empower learners of all genders.

Now let’s discuss a few strategies for inclusion:

  • Early exposure to STEM: Encouraging girls’ interest in STEM through coding workshops, robotics programs, and mentorship initiatives can spark a passion for technology at a young age.
  • Promoting role models: Highlighting the achievements of women in EdTech can inspire girls and demonstrate the diverse possibilities within the field.
  •  Inclusive design: Developing edtech tools with girls’ needs and preferences in mind ensures a wider range of students feel welcome and engaged in the learning process.
  • Unconscious bias training: Equipping educators and EdTech developers with unconscious bias training can help mitigate gendered assumptions that might influence decision-making.
  • Supportive work environments: Creating a work culture that values diversity and offers flexible work arrangements can attract and retain women in EdTech careers.

Ending the digital disparity

Closing the gender gap in edtech is about more than just attaining equality; it is about realising the full potential of educational technology. By employing these ideas, we may build a future in which edtech supports learners of all genders, resulting in a more inclusive and innovative learning environment.

The edtech sector has the ability to unleash the full revolutionary potential of technology in education and produce more inclusive learning opportunities. This will help all students, not just women and girls, and will pave the way for a time when education will empower people of all genders.

Kavita Sharma is the Co-Founder and CEO of Ziyyara, an online tuition platform

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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