The shadow-side of education in Silicon Valley. Teachers priced out is the wrong kind of distance education. #mscedc

This is the second of a trio of posts based on articles found in a search to try and bring education into sharper focus in terms of contexts for digital cultures.

If the previous post highlighted for me how digital cultures can be involved in the complex of solutions for a place like Kenya, this article reminded me that even the archetypal places of digital culture such as Silicon Valley are implicated, also, in the problems and challenges of education. The prosperity accruing to the area as a result of digital industry and revenue generation is unequally spread, creating new kinds of digital gaps within education locally. The contrast in hopes and fears with the Kenyan example are stark and illuminating.

As my Tweet highlights, this can result in the wrong kind of distance education. Towards the end of the article:

“Even teachers are not immune to such difficulties. Ten of the staff who work on early education programs – one-third of the total – commute two or more hours each way a day because they cannot find housing they can afford.

Amanda Kemp, 47, is the principal of an East Palo Alto school. Based on her income, she says she has no option but to share a home with three other educators. “I was done with roommates in college,” she said. “Not once did I even think I would live with others unless it was a significant other.”

Hernandez-Goff hopes to build apartments for staff on land owned by the school district. She speaks of her students and employees as an endangered species, on the verge of extinction.

Their predicament is not abstract to her. “I love this place,” she said. “I wish I could buy a house here.””