Seeing Inequality in Zoom

By Alexandro Jose Gradilla (April 1, 2020)

One of the problems we struggle with in the university is getting a lot of the faculty to honestly see the “whole student”.

As I Zoom teach with my students…I see their realties…”attending” class with a phone in a car. In very small cramped rooms. You can tell they are precariously positioned in the camera so as to “edit out” all the people they live with and not to interrupt them. The anxiousness is on their faces.

So after this disaster or catastrophe is over…we as educators commit to culturally responsive teaching and more equity minded pedagogies and policies. You can still be “rigorous” and have “high or tough standards”…but know what the realities are of your students.

Zoom is revealing in interesting ways our social inequalities that we ignore.

And a shout out to my colleagues who are adjuncts. Adjuncts do the majority of the teaching in most higher ed systems especially in the CC and CSU. As budgets get uglier…we will have to struggle together to keep the budget priorities on the mission of the university…teaching.