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Preparing students and community organisations for effective use of ICTs through a service learning initiative
conference contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Denise WoodDenise Wood, A Dodd
While “net generation students” are said to respond best to the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) that foster participation through collaborative and networked environments, the same cannot be said of the majority of community sector organisations. There is a growing body of evidence (Barraket, 2005; Department of Communications Information Technology and the Arts, 2005; Knox, 2005; Stillman et al, 2010; Yerbury, 2007) suggesting that the community sector is not yet harnessing the full potential of ICTs and that they could be using these technologies much more effectively (Barraket, 2005; Productivity Commission, 2010; Stillman et al, 2010; Yerbury, 2007). This paper describes a case study of service learning involving a cross-sector partnership between the public sector, university and community organisations aimed at developing student skills in web design through service learning, while also empowering community sector organisations to make more effective use of ICTs. The case study reported is based on a program which is a joint initiative of the State Government of South Australia, Office for Volunteers, and the School of Communication, International Studies and Languages at the University of South Australia. The case study describes key issues associated with developing and delivering a service learning model in partnership with government and in collaboration with community sector organisations that harnesses the power of Web 2.0 and CMS technologies to engage learners and community sector organisations through service learning. The findings from evaluations of student and community stakeholder satisfaction are reported and suggestions for addressing identified challenges are proposed.