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Digital literacy: Problems faced by telecenter users in Mexico

Digital literacy: Problems faced by telecenter users in Mexico This article explores the problems that Internet users of marginalized populations face at telecenters (Internet public access sites). Using an exploratory case study method and gathering data from users and telecenter operators, we have explored users' limitations when using the Internet. To interpret the results, this article uses the digital literacy framework developed by Eshet-Alkai (2004). Findings reveal telecenter users are digitally illiterate in three skills: “branching ability” (ability to navigate through a nonlinear environment to find the desired information); “reproduction ability” (ability to analyze and synthesize the information retrieved); and “information ability” (ability to assess the quality of information). Additionally, there are technical barriers, such as Internet access speed, which influence user's behaviors when searching for information. Finally, the lack of knowledge of the English language, which is the predominant languages in the Internet, is a barrier that widens the digital divide. Based on these findings, this research suggests possible solutions to overcome user's problems. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Information Technology for Development Taylor & Francis

Digital literacy: Problems faced by telecenter users in Mexico

16 pages

Digital literacy: Problems faced by telecenter users in Mexico

Abstract

This article explores the problems that Internet users of marginalized populations face at telecenters (Internet public access sites). Using an exploratory case study method and gathering data from users and telecenter operators, we have explored users' limitations when using the Internet. To interpret the results, this article uses the digital literacy framework developed by Eshet-Alkai (2004). Findings reveal telecenter users are digitally illiterate in three skills: “branching...
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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1554-0170
eISSN
0268-1102
DOI
10.1002/itdj.20071
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article explores the problems that Internet users of marginalized populations face at telecenters (Internet public access sites). Using an exploratory case study method and gathering data from users and telecenter operators, we have explored users' limitations when using the Internet. To interpret the results, this article uses the digital literacy framework developed by Eshet-Alkai (2004). Findings reveal telecenter users are digitally illiterate in three skills: “branching ability” (ability to navigate through a nonlinear environment to find the desired information); “reproduction ability” (ability to analyze and synthesize the information retrieved); and “information ability” (ability to assess the quality of information). Additionally, there are technical barriers, such as Internet access speed, which influence user's behaviors when searching for information. Finally, the lack of knowledge of the English language, which is the predominant languages in the Internet, is a barrier that widens the digital divide. Based on these findings, this research suggests possible solutions to overcome user's problems. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Journal

Information Technology for DevelopmentTaylor & Francis

Published: Jul 1, 2007

Keywords: digital divide; telecenters; social digital divide; digital literacy

References