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Title:Effective ICT use for Social Inclusion
Author(s):Wolske, Martin; Williams, Noelle Sheree; Noble, Safiya; Johnson, Eric O.; Duple, Robin Yoerger
Subject(s):Community Technology Center (CTC)
Community Informatics
Citizen Professional
Mass Amateurization
Public Computing Space Design Aesthetics
Abstract:Access to information and communications technology (ICT) is considered important for individuals to fully achieve educational and economic development goals. In fact, ICT access has become so important that the lack of it has been termed the digital divide. To combat the digital divide, community-based computing centers were created as a vital first step to provide physical access to ICT. Commonly known as Community Technology Centers (CTCs) or Telecentres, these publicly accessible labs are providing a valuable means for the diffusion of technology in underserved communities. The meaningful digital divide, however, is whether individuals can fully participate in society. Access to tools like computers and the Internet are only the first step toward effective social inclusion. Furthermore, if the tools become the focus, and we look exclusively at diffusion of technology to address the digital divide, then we make compromises in implementation that never address other, equally important, issues. If public computing facilities such as CTCs are to make the transition from facilities fostering diffusion of technology to community centers empowering citizens through effective use of ICT as citizen professionals such as citizen scientists, citizen planners, and citizen journalists, it is necessary to revisit implementations of technology within these spaces; this may mean creating a new framework for how computers and other ICTs are set up for use in CTCs and Telecentres. Techniques used by African-American marketing agencies as well as successful non-profit organizations that implement grassroots campaigns can teach us a lot about designing compelling experiences that attract audiences.
Issue Date:2010-02-03
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-02-22

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