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Rethinking schools and community : the knowledge producing school
chapterposted on 2004-01-01, 00:00 authored by Christopher Bigum
Schools appear in some accounts of community informatics as part of community, one of a number of organisations that need to be taken into account, perhaps on the basis of them being useful physical or human resources around which community informatics might be based. For their part, schools, at least in Australia, have been an important, early element in the broad take-up of computing and communication technologies (CCTs) by the community. Apart from the possibility of using school resources to support community access out of school time and based on what is published in both fields, schools and work in community informatics have tended to operate independently of one another. There are, nonetheless, interesting parallels in these two broad areas of activity which promote the use of CCTs. This chapter outlines a new research agenda in which schools produce knowledge for local community and in doing so develop new and productive community partnerships. The development provides interesting opportunities for the transformation of regions via this approach to community informatics. The background to this project is based in the long history of using CCTs in schools. The chapter will argue that the way in which schools understand CCTs is crucial to shaping what is possible to be done with CCTs in schools. Shifting the emphasis from information to relationships opens up alternatives that provide opportunities for significant, new relationships with community.