Perspectives on the Influences of Social Capital upon Internet Usage of Rural Guatemalan Teachers

Perspectives on the Influences of Social Capital upon Internet Usage of Rural Guatemalan Teachers

Douglas Tedford (Fundación Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Guatemala)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-779-4.ch012
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Abstract

The Fundación Rigoberta Menchú Tum and the researcher collaborated to identify the influences of bonding, bridging and linking social capital upon teacher Internet usage in the rural Guatemalan town of San Lucas Toliman. The Participatory Rural Appraisal was employed to draw upon community perspectives for identifying the study problem, designing interview questions, and evaluating data, with the researcher in the role of facilitator. Of 34 teachers invited to participate in online coursework free of charge, only 5 completed it. Among them, 20 were interviewed by a native Spanish speaker, and 42 local community educators synthesized interview responses into recommendations for improving local engagement of teachers in online learning. Bonding and bridging social capital influences of family, friends, technology experts and school administrators were shown to levy significant positive and negative effects upon teacher decisions to use the Internet in a region challenged by inadequate buying power, and limited telecommunications infrastructure.

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