Telecenter Web Portals in Latin American and Arab Nations: A Comparative Analysis

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Published in: Journal of Community Informatics, vol. 9, no. 1, 2013


As societies become increasingly inter-connected, communities that do not bridge the digital divide find themselves at a disadvantage in the global market economy. Numerous telecenter initiatives in developing nations aim to foster prosperity through the adoption of information communication technologies (ICTs). This study documents how rural communities at varying levels of development in ten developing nations in Latin America and the Arab World create virtual community and reflect their identity through this new medium. Based on the premise that active participation improves the learning process, as suggested by constructionism theory, this study examined telecenter portals for evidence of user participation in digital literacy initiatives. Findings indicate that most telecenter portals offer few interactive applications, therefore limiting the opportunities for users to practice digital literacy skills and create virtual community.