Brotherhood of St Laurence

Empowering language minorities through technology : which way to go? /

By: Dooly, Melinda | eLearning Papers
Series: eLearning PapersPublisher: Barcelona, Spain 2010Description: PDFISSN: 1887-1542Other title: eLearning papers ; no. 19Subject(s): Information Technology Social Aspects | Internet (computer Network) | Language And Education | Educational Equalisation | Education And State | Technological Change Europe | Communication In Education | Digital Divide | Social Exclusion | Disadvantaged Groups | Access | Empowerment | Information Communication Technology (ict) | TechnologyOnline Resources: Electronic copy
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April 2010

The term 'Information Age' has been applied to the current era we now live in, based on the fact that technology and Internet are continuously changing the way people work, learn, spend their leisure time and interact with one another. At the same time, access to this means of interaction is not always equal, whether due to lack of experience, knowledge or economic access. The rate of these changes, and a feeling of uncertain consequences- can create a sense of uncontrollably rapid social changes and possible social fragmentation. In the face of this, education stakeholders must seriously consider how schooling can confront these challenges. This article will first give a brief overview of how the notion of social cohesion has been used in social and educational policies, focusing especially on two central points that emerge: social equality and education as a nexus for social cohesion. Next, the text looks at how education can undertake the challenge of eliminating social inequality and promoting social cohesion, followed by an analysis of one potentially disadvantaged group: speakers of minority languages. Perceptions of minority language groups in the EU are discussed and a general outline of potential educational disadvantages and social exclusion they may face is broached.



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