Students' access to digital literacy at a South African university: privilege and marginalisation
Balfour, Robert John
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Lifelong learning has become associated with participation in the digital age, affecting everything from access to information technology, to its use in teaching and learning. It is therefore inevitable that educationists turn to digital literacy practices to examine their contribution to, and influence on, learning. This article explores the digital literacy practices of a group of higher education students with minimal previous access to digital resources, as well as how they compensate for uneven access, with a view to examining what they perceive to be challenges and possibilities offered by technology. Thus the article highlights how they are ‘caught-between’ two worlds: the technologicised and non-technologicised. The work is framed by New Literacy Studies, which suggests that literacy is a contextualised practice positioned in relation to social institutions and the power relations that sustain them (Gee, 1996). Emerging themes indicate that students perceive digital practices to have symbolic value, and provide access to cultural capital.
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