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Digital Media and Learning Evolution: A Research on Sustainable Local Empowerment
It is generally agreed upon that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are of vital importance for the social and economical development of a country. Following this idea, various initiatives have been made to address technical, cultural, rural and community development issues through projects of digital inclusion, with the direct or indirect supervision of international institutions or local agencies. Many initiatives, though, suffer from the inability to acknowledge essential cultural outlines, leading to a one-size-fits-all view of development interventions. This paper aims to expose some issues associated with the impact of ICT projects for education, going beyond a linear (and simplistic) relationship between technology and knowledge. It highlights some important perspectives on research into cognitive access and digital literacy, while understanding the process of learning as a social output. The framework proposed is a digital inclusion model based on cultural needs analysis and subsequent promotion of didactics innovation, alongside the enhancement of social and intellectual capital. The results of the empirical research conducted on deployments of the One Laptop Per Child project in Italy and in Ethiopia are used to illustrate parts of the model and possible theoretical outcomes for future research.
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