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Community informatics - a role in emancipatory learning in distance education

conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Wallace Taylor, Antony DekkersAntony Dekkers
It is well documented that the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) in the context of teaching and learning can increase the possible use of a greater range of teaching and learning options for on-campus and distance education modes of course presentations, through open learning, online and resource based learning etc. Furthermore, in the provision of distance education the use of learning centres, small groups or individuals can bring new learning opportunities into local community advantage. This can assist in the development to ëlearning communities by widening access in local communities to education and training opportunities, increasing interpretation of knowledge in a local context and supporting existing educational systems (Longworth,1999). The use of ICT by regional (territorial) communities as a technology strategy or discipline is defined in this paper as community informatics (CI). As indicated by Gurstein (2000), CI can link ICT at the community level with emerging opportunities in community development and life long learning. As such, this term brings together the concepts of ICT and that of community development based on individual growth within a framework of shared learning, sharing experience across cultural and geographic boundaries and interpreting information from within a community context to create applicable knowledge. In conjunction with the developments in the use of ICT to improve equity of access for distance education, there has also been an increasing realisation of the need for educational institutions to provide a leadership role in society for democratic process and to address issues of equity (Harkavy, 1998). This paper addresses role of online approaches for distance education from a theoretical stance. It exposes the dangers of unitary approaches that the use of ICT can promote and outlines an approach, which can assist local communities benefit from a wider interpretation of knowledge available through online distance education.


Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)


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Seattle, Wash.


Idea Group Publishing

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Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

Information Resources Management Association. International Conference

Parent Title

Issues & Trends of Information Technology Management in Contemporary Organizations