How do you say digital divide in Spanish? Community-Campus Partnerships with Spanish Speakers


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  • The Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project published a report titled Closing the Digital Divide: Latinos and Technology Adoption by Mark Hugo Lopez, Ana Gonzalez-Barrera and Eileen Patten. March 7, 2013. It is a rich report, but some basics are of interest for this talk. The digital divide is still greatest for:Spanish-dominantForeign-bornLow income
  • How much information is in Spanish? How well do on-line translators work? Are the tools used to make the internet accessible to people with disabilities truly being used in ways that also make it easier for non-native speakers to access the information? When there is content in Spanish, what kind of Spanish is it? Are there video and audio resources available for people with low levels of literacy? How would you find YouTube videos if you couldn’t type in the search terms?
  • If you don’t have enough food to feed your family, what would you look up? What websites would you go to? If you are a recent immigrant, how would you even know where to begin looking for that information? How would you even know to look into WIC? LINK? Food pantries? You might look up churches. So this is the story of every human services professional who works with Spanish-dominant, foreign-born, low-income people: not only do you have to translate things, you have to help them become acculturated to the host country’s systems, norms, procedures, etc.
  • So this means that we still need to do old-fashioned support, computer literacy, etc. Hello, I am writing an article about the Library Whitespace Pilot project, designed to increase internet access in rural communities and wonder if you might have a few minutes for a phone interview-discussing the challenges of rural access, esp. within the Hispanic community? Thank you in advance for your consideration. Sincerely, Lynette Mullen 707-845-0467. This brings up many topics:New-growth communities.These are precisely the kinds of communities that do not have the resources to help Spanish-dominant, foreign-born immigrants.What can you do with better bandwidth? Jobs? Or just better gaming experiences? “It’s difficult to see the future.”The women at ECIRMAC barely e-mail, yet they are doing wonderful one-on-one work.
  • When I looked up tutoriales in Spanish about usingPinterest for marketing, there were lots. In other words, there is a lot of internet content about the internet. But when I looked up information about new bicycle lanes and bicycle laws in Champaign, I found nothing in Spanish. I found quite a bit of information from Latin America and Spain.Content needs to reflect the needs and interests of people within our Latino communities.Content needs to be localized.Content needs to be curated.
  • We don’t know each other. We don’t understand each other. We can’t relate to each other.
  • I asked my “Spanish in the Community” students to tell me what they considered to be the Latino community’s challenges, worries, problems. These are the items they came up with: language, education and money.Then I showed them posts within the FB group “CU Amigos/Friends,” and we looked at what issues were brought up most often there: immigration reform!, documentation (DACA, drivers licenses), transportation, Obamacare, community support.Then I sent students to look at the websites and Facebook pages of ECIRMAC and CU Immigration Forum to see if the services they offer match the needs of the community.
  • The people with their finger on the pulse of the community’s needs are often the people who have the least time to dedicate to creating web content that is thorough, accurate and searchable. And the people who are creating web content often do not have their finger on the pulse of the community’s needs.
  • This is what my “Business Spanish” students have created for the Refugee Center’s Facebook page. There are positives—integrates blog, website and FB; active 5 days a week; solid information—and negatives—it’s in English; it will end after this semester; there has been no capacity building within the organization; it requires a high level of supervision.
  • I’m the only one doing this kind of work. The courses fall outside the official curriculum. Our curriculum creates a crazy quilt of knowledge and skills that doesn’t create a coherent whole, neither in linguistic terms nor cultural terms.
  • How do you say digital divide in Spanish? Community-Campus Partnerships with Spanish Speakers

    1. 1. How Do You Say Digital Divide in Spanish? Community-Campus Partnerships with Spanish Speakers Ann Abbott @AnnAbbott
    2. 2. La brecha digital
    3. 3. The digital divide is about access.
    4. 4. The digital divide is about language. Greeblie, flickr
    5. 5. Imagine seeing gibberish 95% of the time you surfed the web.
    6. 6. The digital divide is about acculturation.
    7. 7. The digital divide is about support.
    8. 8. The digital divide is about content.
    9. 9. The digital divide is a human divide.
    10. 10. Imagine your needs were invisible.
    11. 11. We need people who can produce relevant content.
    12. 12. Students can bridge the divide.
    13. 13. But only if curricula evolve.