Sara Vannini – Use of Mobile Devices in Public Access to ICTs

Please join us for Change this week we are excited to have Sara Vannini – who is current a visiting scholar at TASCHA present on her work exploring mobile devices and public access to ICTs.

What: Use of Mobile Devices in Public Access to ICTs: Preliminary results from a study in Latin America

When: Tuesday, Feb 9 at 12pm

Where: The Allen Center, CSE 203

Abstract: Venues for Public Access to ICTs (PAVs) and Mobile Technologies have been extensively studied for their potential to give access to information and enabling underserved communities’ development, especially in the developing world. The field of ICT for Development (ICT4D) looked at them, one after the other, as possible ways to finally bridge the digital divide.

At first, the rapid growth of mobile technologies adoption, especially in developing countries, made researchers question the necessity to still invest in PAVs. With more than 6 billion mobile subscriptions in the world, and more people having access to a mobile than to electricity or clean water in developing countries, mobiles have indeed been reshaping the technological ecosystem of access. Yet, PAVs have not been replaced by mobiles. While we can envision that PAVs are starting to include mobile technologies to provide their services, very few studies have been considered the topic so far. In this presentation, preliminary results from an online survey conducted among Latin American PAVs’ operators will be presented. Results will inform on both the variety of mobile-related services that PAVs are providing in the region, and on operators’ perception of mobile technologies as having a role to support community development and PAVs goals.

Bio: Sara Vannini is a visiting scholar at UW’s Technology and Social Change Group (TASCHA). Sara is also a postdoctoral research fellow with the BeCHANGE group and Executive Director of the NewMinE – New Media in Education Lab at the University of Italian Switzerland (USI), Lugano, Switzerland. Sara’s research is in the field of Information and Communication Technologies for Development, focusing in particular on the issues of Public Access to ICTs and the appropriation and social representation of technologies in underserved areas of developing countries. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication Sciences from USI, and an M.A. in Latin American Literatures from Bologna University, Italy.

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