SIM|ED is a tech incubator housed in the SAFElab at Columbia University School of Social Work. SIM|ED includes Black youth from Brownsville, Brooklyn, individuals who are formerly incarcerated, professors and students in social work and computer science. Leveraging the power of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and 360 video, we develop and implement tools, resources, and immersive educational modules. We aim to provide holistic and comprehensive social media education for youth and the adults, agencies, and organizations that leverage social media to make decisions about youth behavior (e.g., law enforcement, judges, lawyers).
Columbia University AI4ALL is a three-week summer program that provides students with interdisciplinary exposure to the field of Artificial Intelligence, including tangible research skills used to impact social change in their own communities through creative arts, social science, and technology.
Social media posts are likely to be misinterpreted when they are decoded by someone outside of the post’s intended audience. This can lead to innocuous messages being flagged as threatening, aggressive, or even seen as criminal, and result in surveillance and/or punitive action. To eliminate discriminatory practices, researchers at MIT's Center for Advanced Virtuality and Teaching System's Lab and Columbia University's SAFElab will address the challenges of the school-to-prison pipeline and criminal justice policy reform with new immersive learning experiences that address issues of bias in social media surveillance. In partnership with youth, community members, law enforcement, educators, and government officials, we are co-design and implement new tools and professional learning experiences to support a broader understanding and a fairer response to the complex dynamics of social media communication, particularly surrounding issues of violence and inequitable punitive profiling.
TECH|ED creates a diverse set of digital education tools and curricula surrounding youth and social media use, with a focus on critical, mindful awareness and practices.