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Design for Diversity: How Ed Tech Missed the Boat

Motivational studies mostly observe rich white kids. Find out how Title One students’ needs are missed and can radically differ from today’s top educational theories. We’ll share our research at the Boys and Girls club and compare those results to privileged Boulder kids’ experiences and the behavioral literature. Using sensors we helped build at MIT, we’ll show how Ed Tech can emotionally fail for kids who lack social support and are behind in school.

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  1. The consequences of most academic research only targeting white kids.
  2. How kids in Title 1 schools often are pros in failure, and grit is mostly a “helicopter parent” issue.
  3. How “internal motivation” is a privilege itself, and why digital software needs to rethink engagement.


  • Elliott Hedman, Experience Designer, mPath


Elliott Hedman, Experience Designer, mPath

Meta Information:

  • Tags: diversity, edtech
  • Event: SXSW EDU
  • Format: Talk
  • Track: Equity
  • Session Focus Area
  • Level: Basic Understanding
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