OLPC technology uses

I decided to write about the different uses children give to the technology provided by the One Laptop per Child Program (OLPC) in Uruguay. Although, there is a lot of studies on children and technology the OLPC program is shifting a lot of paradigms on how children and adults use technology. Such is the case that less economically privileged families with several children accumulate larger numbers of computer in one household. There is not much in depth literature on this topic yet, mostly quantitative data and short reports that do not address how different children use this technology at home or school in this program.

The use of technology changes the according to the type of technology, the amount of technology and many variables that do not relate with technology. Even though I have extensively read about children and different use of technology it was not until a couple hours ago when I had to leave my own computer at the shop for repair that I truly experienced the differences. Blogging from an iPad changes the way I express, the length, depth and external resources I bring into my blog.

The more I read preparing for my research in Uruguay the more I come to terms that I can only find a guidance in the existent literature. The computers and “universal access” to all children in Uruguay is shifting many many paradigms and new in-depth literature needs to be created to understand the complexities and commonalities created in a specific context.

HTML Identities

I have been thinking to write a piece on identity in my blog for quite a while now. I also have been thinking about my own identity how to define this; I finally came to the point that perhaps I should be talking about identities or identifications rather than identity. In this sense identity should then refer to a constant stage of formations that encapsulates different processes of identification.

I struggle myself with my personal identities at the different levels, again identity sounds too over simplistic even if this one is in constant transformation. I juggle two main identities on my every day life; the one who speaks English and lives in London and the one who speaks Spanish and likes to thinks he maintains a Uruguayan identity whatever that means. A third one more complex and multidimensional is one I have created over the thousands of hours I spend online both interacting in English and Spanish in different spaces.

In this regard, the use of technology has allowed me to contract a performance that reflects new identities (Thomas, 2004). Then audiences determine the construction of those identities that I project my persona — the processes of identification in my blog are quite different than my Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Gmail or Skype. The construction of a narrative of the self becomes a practice in relation and recognitions in direct contact with the audiences (Hine, 2000). As Buckingham states identity implies a relationship with broader world, defining our identity is an individual process but it only exists if recognized and confirm by others. Both Giddens and Bauman recognize the complexity of self-identification in modern cultures as an ongoing fluid process, a self-reflexive project that explains themselves to themselves.

As for my blog I have just been letting a few days pass to re-post a quite interesting story I witnessed in my Facebook feed. I found two interesting elements in this Facebook story, one it reflects how identity is a constant process of interaction with others and two, the risks of which involves producing those identities online. I came to the conclusion I am not even going to ask the person for permission to post that story in my blog. I know I perhaps should, but I want to come across of the dangers and risk of online identities and show in fact how identification is a social process. I will be constructing and reflecting on my identity in my blog with someone else’s story, which I believe it is party mine since it was on my feeds.

As for me, I would quote Tapscott where using technology is a natural as breathing. Yet I don’t want to fall in the technological determinism of conceiving the idea of technology as an autonomous force independent of human society (Buckingham, 2008). The ongoing processes of identifications take place in all dimensions of our lives yet we are defined not only by our practices but social perception.

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