Ifip-tc3  >  The IFIP AGORA Initiative  >  AGORA in 2008  >  2008 Open and Working Conferences - July 7-10, Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia  >  Summary output from AGORA activities in LYICT

 Summary output from AGORA activities in LYICT


Digital divides and cultural understanding

A 2 day workshop organised around LYICT Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 2008.

We began by defining what we meant by digital divide and cultural understanding. Digital divides, we decided, were multiple, consisting of the socio-economic (the haves and have nots), the psychological (the wills and will nots) and the pedagogic (cans and cannots). Culture was established as the shared symbolic communication required for individuals to belong to a society. From here we began to discuss how information and communication technologies could or might be used to bridge digital divides (or cause them) and how cultural understanding could be promulgated through social networks and other internet tools.

We discussed the way online social networks and forums like YouTube, Facebook, Myspace and Flickr could be virtual zones in which anyone - rich/poor, mainstream/marginalised, genderised, or First World/"Third" World, races and ethnic minority groups might speak in their own voice. We explored how virtual social spaces can change and enhance inter-cultural communication between young people and what implications this has for the classroom. We discussed the implications this has for transnational diasporic and disenfranchised communities - especially for their youth and the retention of culture. We proposed that some social media might endanger cultures by globalising aspects and homogenising them into an amorphous mass of single ‘Internet’ culture where all were represented in very uniform manner. Finally, we explored the implications of such technologies and tools for and within education. This was developed in terms of critical and media literacy, individual identity and cultural meaning transmission (memes).

Steve Wheeler Chair, TC 3 WG 3.6 (Distance Education)

public/spip/ecrire:le5 March 2010
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