Graduate Teaching Fellows in Community Situated Research: The Triple Helix of University, K-12, and Community Knowledge Production (NSF GK-12 grant): This project develops new technologies, fostering collaborations between science, engineering, and STS grads, with community education, environmentalism, and other efforts in sustainability and social justice.
The characterization of inadequate information technology resources in disadvantaged communities as a "digital divide" was a useful wake-up call. At the same time, this metaphor is often taken to imply a problematic solution: the one-way bridge. However there are a variety of ways we can create a two-way bridge alternative:
1) One of the alternative
approaches which avoids the one-way assumption is that of participant
simulation: rather than bring in a scientist to "study" people and
create social simulations, we collaborate with local groups and co-design
simulations with them; simulations which we hope will reflect their perspectives
2) Another alternative approach is that of culturally-situated design tools: using information technology to "translate" from local knowledge (e.g. African indigenous designs, African American vernacular practices, Native American traditions, etc.) to their high-tech counterparts in mathematics, computer graphics, architecture, agriculture, medicine, and science.
3) A third alternative can be found in examining the phenomena of appropriated technologies. Of particular importance is the spectrum of strategies between consumption and production:
4) The two-way bridge approach to community informatics can also contribute to sustainable development in disadvantaged communities. Particularly promising are "Flexible Economic Networks" (FENs). Here we extend the concept to include networking among sociocultural assets, economic revitalization and environmental renewal.
two-way bridge across the digital divide
Shaping the Network Society: Patterns for Participation, Action, and Change (CPSR)
The Organization for Community Networks
New Community Networks: Wired for Changed (online book by Doug Schuler)
Culture, Class and Cyberspace (Art McGee)
Center for Cybercultural Studies
Other Social Studies of
CASTAC (anthropology of science, technology and computing)
Culture and technoscience links (Phil Hughes)
of Science and Technology list (Jan Armstrong Gamradt)