16 SES 06 B, Technology, Inclusion and Social Aspects
Our purpose in this paper is to discuss some of the findings of a study on the appropriation processes of technologies in the school and family in rural communities. Building on a sociocultural perspective of the concepts of digital inclusion and domestication, the paper discusses the changes of digital inclusion present in the narratives of a group of parents and teachers in primary school.
Reaching far beyond the mere presence or mastering of instrumental resources, digital inclusion is associated to the development of know-how and skills that have enabled individuals and groups to participate in collective life (Cole, 1996). This perspective reshapes the interpretation of technology innovation processes, often restricted to the question of access.
To examine this issue, we interviewed a group of parents of middle and low income and a group of primary school teachers about their experiences with different technologies in schools and at home in two different temporal phases, 2009-2010 and 2013.
Taking into account the parents’ and teachers’ narratives; we emphasize the ways that digital artifacts are gradually domesticated (Silverstone & Hirsch, 1992) in the family and school in everyday life by asking:
1- What are the experiences associated to the use of digital technologies and the internet in everyday life?
2- Were there any changes in the routines of parents and teachers in using the computer and the internet at home and at school (primary school)?
3- What kinds of parental and teacher supervision exist in the everyday choices and uses of the computer by children, at home and at school?
4- Can we find any changes in the prospects on the educational use of the computer at school (1st cycle) and at home, in the last four years?
Our exploratory approach to this issue is related to the metaphor of technologies domestication and the concept of digital inclusion. The concept of domestication was proposed by Silverstone (1992) and it privileges the integration of technologies in the family routines at home. In this article, this construct is sustained by the perspective of digital inclusion that is related to the development of know-how and skills that enable individuals and groups to participate in collective life (Warschauer, 2002; Azevedo & Seixas, 2011; Cole, 1996). In this sense, digital contexts are addressed as settings of action where personal and social life experiences take place.
Although digital literacy has not yet been studied at the present phase of our empirical work, we think it is important to remark it in the theoretical framework, as it is linked to the communication practices in social settings. A considerable number of scholars found that these constructs have to be interpreted in light of locally situated systems of cultural practices (Cole, 1996; Warschauer, 2002) and are strongly linked to the identity construction of individuals and groups. For this reason, the prospects and uses that the individuals gradually disclose in relation to digital technologies and, in particular, to the computer and the internet, are part of broad references, both culturally imagined and socially recognised (Holland & Lachicotte, 2007)
This article proceeds in three main parts. First, it provides an account of the digital technologies in line of the constructs of digital inclusion, domestication and the mediational role of time and space in everyday life. Second, it explores and compares the discourses of a group of parents and primary school teachers about the uses of technologies, in rural communities throughout two different time periods, 2009 and 2013.The article concludes by connecting the findings in this empirical study to the larger scope of the field and to implications in research and practice.
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