Youth, Equity, and Information Technology
Paper 204 pp.
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Digital Diversity: Youth, Equity, and Information Technology is about youth, schools, and the use of technology. Youth are instrumental in finding novel ways to access and use technology. They are directly affected by changes such as the proliferation of computers in schools and elsewhere, and the increasingly heavy use of the Internet for both information sharing and for communication.
The contributors to this volume investigate how the resources provided by information and communication technology (ICT) are made available to different groups of young people (as defined by gender, race, rural location, Aboriginal status, street youth status) and how they do (or do not) develop facility and competence with this technology. How does access vary for these different groups of youth? Which young people develop facility with ICT? What impact has this technology had on their learning and their lives? These are among the issues examined. Youth from a wide variety of settings are included in the study, including Inuit youth in the high arctic.
Rather than mandate how youth should/could better use technology (as much of the existing literature does) the contributors focus on how youth and educators are actually using technology. By paying attention to the routine use and understandings of ICTs by youth and those teaching youth, the book highlights the current gaps in policy and practice. It challenges assumptions around the often taken-for-granted links between technology, pedagogy, and educational outcomes for youth in order to highlight a range of important equity issues.
E. Dianne Looker, a Canada Research Chair in Equity and Technology, has undertaken several longitudinal surveys focusing on youth in a changing society and has provided expert advice to numerous policy groups and government departments. Her recent work looks at the ways in which the shift to more of an information society has affected equity for subgroups of youth in Canada and abroad.
Ted D. Naylor is currently studying men’s health, bio-politics, and health policy in the Interdisciplinary PhD program at Dalhousie University in Halifax. He is also a research manager and associate for the Health, Illness, Men and Masculinities Project (HIMM), Dalhousie University. Prior to this role, Naylor was the project coordinator for the Equity and Technology Project, led by Dianne Looker at Mount Saint Vincent University.
“As a collection, these seven essays challenge conventional assumptions concerning the application of digital media in schools, while examining disparities between educational policies and practices, and highlighting equity issues as they are affected by information technologies.... Convincing arguments are provided here involving ICT-based pedagogies, how they are transforming our educational system, and how we need to re-think current approaches. Included are lucid and well-argued perspectives on the relative applicability of curriculum-based software and the increasing need for institutional support to better integrate accessible and interactive computer based technologies in the classroom, in order to generate improved student achievements. Wilfrid Laurier University Press is to be commended for its intelligent layout and design of the book. These seven essays include coherent presentations of salient facts and arguments, helpful visual charts and graphics, and detailed numerical tables, along with clearly stated conclusions and tightly worded summative notes. All of these are supported by comprehensive Works Cited pages, contributors’ notes, and a detailed and comprehensive index. This insightful set of essays successfully examines the importance of integrating information and communications techonologies within our evolving educational system.”
— Karl Jirgens, Canadian Literature