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Networking communities from the bottom up: grassroots approaches to overcoming the digital divide

Gaved, Mark B. and Mulholland, Paul (2010). Networking communities from the bottom up: grassroots approaches to overcoming the digital divide. AI & Society, 25(3) pp. 345–357.

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Achieving meaningful usage of the Internet is more than attaining access: multiple social and technological insufficiencies must be overcome and continually readdressed. A wide variety of approaches have been undertaken to address these issues, both to enable individuals to cross the 'digital divide' and also to enhance community interactions. In this paper, we focus on one approach–grassroots networked communities. These are communities of locality that have developed their own computer network infrastructure with minimal external support. We analyse eight examples from the UK and present survey results, identifying key characteristics and modes of operation. We argue that such initiatives may offer a viable method of overcoming multiple digital insufficiencies and ensure sustainable and meaningful ICT usage. Further research has commenced to analyse how the presence of social software and near-ubiquitous computer network access affects the sharing and storage of information within communities of locality.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2010 Springer-Verlag London Limited
ISSN: 1435-5655
Academic Unit/School: Learning Teaching and Innovation (LTI) > Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Learning Teaching and Innovation (LTI)
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Knowledge Media Institute (KMi)
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Computing (CRC)
Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 24926
Depositing User: Kay Dave
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2010 17:14
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2017 20:37
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