Last month, three Prison Education Project students were interviewed about ongoing efforts to increase the quality of educational technology in the Chronicle of Higher Education: Amy Walker and Jasmine Ford, two current students in the program at WERDCC in Vandalia, MO and Sam (Sherri) Densing, recently released from WERDCC and now working with the Prison Education Project to coordinate reentry programming for Vandalia students. Also featured was Jessica Hicklin, a software programmer previously incarcerated at Potosi Correctional Center whose efforts to develop a learning management system for incarcerated learners have been central to PEP’s efforts to expand educational technology access for incarcerated students.
The implementation of a functional learning management system for incarcerated students has been one of PEP’s most significant recent undertakings, intended to increase necessary communications between students at MECC and WERDCC and their St. Louis-based instructors, who can otherwise communicate only in person. The centering of incarcerated student experience in the development of the platform is crucial, as student learning currently happens on tablets provided to incarcerated students by Securus Technologies, the technology arm of a for-profit commissary company repeatedly accused of price gouging incarcerated people for basic functions, like messaging with families.
The article is accessible without a Chronicle subscription on campus or logged into the Wash-U proxy server. If you’d like a copy of it in PDF form, please reach out to Meredith Kelling, PEP Postdoctoral Associate, at firstname.lastname@example.org.