From sea to cyberspace: women's leadership and learning around information and communication technologies in Coastal Newfoundland
Due to a moratorium on the cod fishery in 1992, small, isolated coastal villages in Newfoundland suffer increasing unemployment, health problems and threats of re-location by the government. In the hopes of addressing some of these problems, the Burgeo Broadcasting System (BBS) placed video-conferencing and broad-band internet into five small communities on the southwest coast. The purpose of our feminist participatory research process was to engage women in these communities in individual and collective discussions around the problems and potentials of these Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in terms of learning, health, well-being and economic resilience. We discovered the major problems are technical capacity and training, the top-down implementation of the ICT process, indifference and a belief in the neutrality of technology. But we also uncovered a healthy resistance when and where it mattered, profound alacrity to using and learning the equipment if it meant a benefit to the community, a holistic pedagogical view and a strong sense of collective agency and responsibility. These have important implications for strengthening community-based ICT education and research.
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