A qualitative analysis on the experiences of Latino adults on technology access initiatives
Candido Hernandez Limon, Teachers College, Columbia University, United States
Teachers College, Columbia University . Awarded
This dissertation investigates the experiences of adult Latino women using Technology Access Initiatives. The increasing use of technology worldwide, while allowing an advantageous global interconnection, continues to broaden the divisional gap between those with access to technology and those whose access is limited or nonexistent. An example of this situation is the Latino community of East Harlem in New York City. This community is at a disadvantage because of the high levels of poverty, the low rates of income, and the scarcity in higher educational attainment. As such, one issue that is worth exploring is the perceptions and attitudes towards computer use in the Latino adult population in East Harlem to reduce the digital divide in the area.
The research design followed a qualitative methodological approach guided by the objectives of this research. This research analyzes observations and semi-structured interviews. Eight participants were selected through a snowball sample technique. The emphasis of this research is on the experiences of the adult Latino women who have, according to their own appraisal, changed their perceptions towards computers and the Internet by using the services offered by a Community Technology Center. I argue that Technology Access Initiatives influence the experiences of adult Latino women on computer and Internet usage.
The results of this research suggested that Latino Adults Women perceptions of computers and the Internet changed positively after attending a Community Access Initiative. Participants demonstrated a deep connection with the use of technology, and a change in their perceptions and expectations from using technology.
As a main conclusion of this study, it is suggested that the participants' social and educational needs have to be considered when implementing a Community Technology Center in a disadvantaged community. The equitable integration of technology into disadvantaged communities should level the differences of access to computers and the Internet by setting aside biases and constructing practical and motivating educational environments focusing in the cultural context o the population they serve.
Hernandez Limon, C. A qualitative analysis on the experiences of Latino adults on technology access initiatives. Ph.D. thesis, Teachers College, Columbia University.
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