The VSA proudly announces the beginning of academic reasearch on the impact of the introduction and use of awareNet in disadvantaged and other schools in the Eastern Cape. Two Anthropology Students from Rhodes University have started their Honours theses about
- “The School as a Multi-Layered Community: Negotiating Technology in Township Schools.” (Louise Featherstone) and
- “awareNet: Learners, Teachers, Community. – Learn your way” (Kiarin Lee Gillies).
They will be investigating topics such as
- What contextual factors have an impact on the acceptance and usability of technology for learners and teachers at under-resources schools?
- What effect has the introduction of awareNet into township schools in Grahamstown had on increasing learning output in the areas of language and technology literacy?
- What kind of institutional cultures effect learner attitudes and practices and how can awareNet facilitators work towards overcoming the associated barriers to learning?
- How sustainable are the endeavours of projects involving ICT, considering the specific institutional dynamics in schools?
- How does awareNet reinforce ‘norms’ of a certain society and how is this affected or transformed through ICT’s?
- Is awareNet moving away from enculturation and cultural transformation to a space where youth become agents of their own education, or by virtue of the program itself it is perpetuating those very ‘norms’?
We are very happy about their interest and investigations. Both want to get actively involved in the awareNet programme and work very closely together with the other awareNet facilitators and Ronald Wertlen, Professional Associate at the Anthropology Department at Rhodes. We hope that this cooperation will prove to be as fruitful as it promises to be.