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Educate, Empower, Advocate: Amplifying Marginalized Voices in a Digital Society

, College of Charleston, United States

CITE Journal Volume 19, Number 4, ISSN 1528-5804 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA


The Internet and other communication technologies can provide a powerful tool for social justice and civic action. These digital devices and social media have shown enormous potential by activists to mobilize the public, document their activities and the injustices they witness, and spread information to a wider audience. Individuals are often inspired to identify ways they can leverage digital technologies to work toward positive social change. The challenge is that youth are watching and learning from these events and texts as well. As youth utilize these digital, connected texts, educators need to know what makes their voices uniquely powerful. Perhaps more importantly, English language arts (ELA) educators need to consider ways in which they can bring these skills, practices, and texts into the classroom. This study examined how activists used digital, social technologies for the purposes of amplifying marginalized voices and enacting social change. Furthermore, the study explored how acts of digital activism can be leveraged to inform ELA teachers as they support inquiry, empathy, and connection in their classrooms. The findings identify opportunities for teachers to educate, empower, and advocate for youth as digitally literate citizens.


O'Byrne, W.I. (2019). Educate, Empower, Advocate: Amplifying Marginalized Voices in a Digital Society. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 19(4), 640-669. Waynesville, NC USA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Retrieved April 7, 2020 from .