A Computer for Every Child: Extending Contexts for Learning for Disadvantaged Children

By Nicola Yelland, Rebecca Beris, Kristy Davidson and Greg Neal.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In this paper we report on the initial findings from a study that provided families from disadvantaged backgrounds with computers with the goal of addressing some of the issues associated with the digital divide. In order to evaluate the outcomes of this study we administered an initial questionnaire which explored the nature of access and use of new technologies in the lives of disadvantaged students including refuges and new immigrants. The programme involves students in Years 3 and 5 of schooling in the Western suburbs of a major metropolitan city in Australia. The initial findings reveal that the students have minimum exposure to new media (such as computers) but all watched television and DVDs in their homes on a regular basis.

Keywords: Education, Social Welfare, The Digital Divide

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.503-514. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 676.777KB).

Prof. Nicola Yelland

Professor, School of Education, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Nicola Yelland is Research Professor of Education in the School of Education, at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. Over the last decade her research has been related to the use of ICT in school and community contexts. This has involved projects that have investigated the specific learning of students in computer environments as well as a broader consideration of the ways in which new technologies can impact on the pedagogies that teachers use and the curriculum in schools. Her multidisciplinary research focus has enabled her to work with early childhood, primary and middle school teachers to enhance the ways in which ICT can be incorporated into learning contexts to make them more interesting and motivating for students, so that educational outcomes are improved. She is the author of a new book from Routledge (New York) entitled Shift to the Future: Rethinking learning with new technologies in education. She is also the author of Early Mathematical Explorations with Carmel Diezmann and Deborah Butler and has edited four books: Gender in Early Childhood (Routledge, UK), Innovations in Practice (NAEYC) Ghosts in the Machine: Women’s voices in Research with Technology (Peter Lang) and Critical Issues in Early Childhood (OUP). Nicola has worked in Australia, the USA, UK and Hong Kong.

Rebecca Beris

Victoria University, Victoria, Australia

Rebecca Beris is a research assistant at Victoria University in the School of Education. She has a Masters in Creative Arts from Melbourne University. The title of her Masters thesis is: A re-examination of Wassily Kandinsky’s theoretical writings. Rebecca has an interest in aesthetic theory, painting and creativity in education.

Kristy Davidson

School of Education, Faculty of Arts, Education, and Human Development, Victoria Univerisity, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Kristy Davidson is a research officer in the School of Education at Victoria University. Her research areas include social justice, social diversity, wellbeing, and communication practices. Kristy is currently completing a PhD in communication focussing on the representation of a minority group in contemporary fiction. She has also worked on a number of research projects related to refugee relocation, community building and the role of ICT for young people.

Dr. Greg Neal

Lecturer, School of Education, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

I am a lecturer in the School of Education at Victoria University in Melbourne (Australia) and my recently completed doctoral study investigated the ways in which ICT is used to engage middle-years students in their learning. I continue to work with teachers to explore further ways in which ICT can be sucessfully integrated into learning contexts. I am also involved in addressing the education of boys with a focus on working with school clusters to develop evidence-based projects to improve boys'learning outcomes.

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