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Article
Publication date: 3 November 2020

Netta Iivari

Digital technology education of children needs to be reconsidered. The purpose of this paper is to focus on empowering the young generation as regards digital technology…

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Abstract

Purpose

Digital technology education of children needs to be reconsidered. The purpose of this paper is to focus on empowering the young generation as regards digital technology. Digital technology education should reap the benefits of recent developments brought in by extensive, ongoing digitalization and prepare the young generation to manage and master in their technology rich future. The recent COVID 19 pandemic has made this particularly relevant and visible in the society. The young generation should adopt a proactive and critical stance toward digital technology and consider how design and technology can be used for making the world a better place.

Design/methodology/approach

This commentary reviews literature on the complex concept of empowerment and suggests a model on the aspects to be considered when aiming at empowering the young generation as regards digital technology in the context of digital technology education.

Findings

A model is proposed that comprehensively addresses empowerment of children as regards digital technology both at individual and collective levels and in mainstream sense as a relational and motivational construct as well as in critical sense in terms of collective empowerment, social responsibility and liberation of the oppressed.

Research limitations/implications

Radical renewal in the children's education is needed in the digital age. This model outlines aspects to be considered in such a transformation. The insights should be valuable for research communities addressing the topic of children's education in the digital age in general or the topic of children's digital technology education in particular.

Practical implications

The model should also be of help for practitioners, i.e. teachers and facilitators working in informal learning spaces for developing children's digital education in practice.

Social implications

The commentary addresses significant societal issues. It is actually not only children who should be empowered to engage in making and shaping our digital futures, but people in general. The model provides novel and valuable insights on what aspects to consider in such a significant endeavor.

Originality/value

The model proposed is novel and clearly needed in the research addressing this topic.

Details

The International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4880

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 December 2020

Fanny Vainionpää, Marianne Kinnula, Netta Iivari and Tonja Molin-Juustila

The low number of women in the information technology (IT) field is a concern. The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors behind the exclusion of girls from the IT field.

Abstract

Purpose

The low number of women in the information technology (IT) field is a concern. The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors behind the exclusion of girls from the IT field.

Design/methodology/approach

The present work includes a narrative literature review and an exploratory interview study with ten girls and six study guidance counsellors (GCs) from Finnish senior high schools. Using the nexus analysis as a theoretical lens, the authors examined the exclusion of girls from IT.

Findings

Earlier literature directed attention to the cultural norms, assumptions and stereotypes still prevalent in society and the lack of role models and positive media as factors contributing to girls excluding themselves from the IT field. In this research study’s data, the authors not only found evidence of the unintentional exclusion of girls from IT by others but also by the girls themselves. Findings of this research study illustrate the various discourses, actors and their interactions, their background and history-related factors affecting girls' career choices. The novelty of this study is in approaching high school as a site of exclusion, where problematic discourses, interactions and histories come together, reproducing exclusion of girls from the IT field.

Originality/value

The authors contribute with a literature review of the research study on gender and IT and the inclusion/exclusion dynamics around IT. Using the nexus analysis, the authors identify the exclusion dynamics in this complex social issue. Several decades of research have shown that the inclusion of women remains low in IT disciplines. In this study, high schools are viewed as sites of exclusion, engendering a prevalent lack of information and education on the field. The authors offer novel insights into the role of curriculum, GCs and online information excluding girls from the IT field.

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Netta Iivari

In recent years, there has been a growing desire to more fully integrate informants into the overall research process. In response to this trend, the purpose of this paper…

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1219

Abstract

Purpose

In recent years, there has been a growing desire to more fully integrate informants into the overall research process. In response to this trend, the purpose of this paper is to scrutinize the usage and outcomes of the member checking technique for enabling more participatory interpretive research practices. Information systems (IS) research has utilized this technique, but it has not yet undergone a thorough analysis in this context. Additionally, interpretive IS research is in need of means and tools for engaging with informants during the data analysis and interpretation process.

Design/methodology/approach

The data for this study originated from an inquiry into the position of usability work within its cultural context, and this study has adopted a hermeneutic lens to make sense of the member checking technique, which positions informants as co-analysts and co-interpreters to make sense of both their organizational realities and researchers’ interpretations of those realities.

Findings

The analysis shows that during the research process, the informants reproduced, questioned, and cultivated the researcher-crafted texts that they were given to interpret, both individually and collaboratively. The study shows that member checking contributes to fulfilling the criteria set for interpretive IS research in a variety of ways.

Research limitations/implications

The study contributes to interpretive IS research method practice by offering IS researchers insights into and guidelines on the usage and potential outcomes of the member checking technique.

Originality/value

The examination of the member checking technique through a hermeneutic lens is a novel approach. For IS research, the study explicates the usages and outcomes of member checking in more participatory interpretive research practice. Also novel in this study is that member checking is examined as a collective endeavor.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2009

Netta Iivari

The purpose of this paper is to report findings from an interpretive case study on user participation in the open source software (OSS) development context.

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1336

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report findings from an interpretive case study on user participation in the open source software (OSS) development context.

Design/methodology/approach

Through an empirical, interpretive case study and a literature review utilising the metaphor of text in the analysis, this paper provides a refined conceptualisation of user participation in OSS development.

Findings

The paper reveals that different kinds of meanings have been attached to users and to their participation. User participation is both direct and indirect in the OSS development context. Some user groups actively take part in OSS development, while others are merely represented in it. Different kinds of intermediaries “representing the users” are identified.

Research limitations/implications

The research is based on one case study on a small but active OSS project with an interest in users. Other kinds of OSS projects should be analysed. The analysis was focused on a discussion forum, but users can take part in OSS development by other means as well. Paths for future work should include the gathering of more varied empirical data.

Practical implications

The findings indicate that users can provide feedback to the development through discussion forums in the distributed environment, but there is a need to support the users in doing so and the developers in analysing the data. The importance of different kinds of intermediaries “representing the users” is highlighted.

Originality/value

The paper provides thorough empirical insights and a refined conceptualisation of user participation addressing the currently weakly empirically explored OSS development context.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2015

Netta Iivari, Marianne Kinnula and Leena Kuure

Children have been recognized as an important user group for information and communication technology (ICT) and methods for involving them in ICT design have already been…

Abstract

Purpose

Children have been recognized as an important user group for information and communication technology (ICT) and methods for involving them in ICT design have already been devised. However, there is a lack of research on children’s genuine or authentic participation in ICT design as well as a lack of critical research scrutinizing how “children” and “their participation” actually end up constructed in ICT design. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

An intervention involving children in ICT design following the research strategy of nexus analysis was implemented. A qualitative data archive of this intervention is examined through a Foucauldian lens.

Findings

The study reveals that numerous discourses were relied on when talking about “children” and “their participation” in the case project: the discourses of participation, equality, domination, segregation, rebellion, and patronization were identified. Moreover, “children” were constructed as equal partners and influential, but also as ignorant, ignored, silent, and silencing each other. Some of the findings are in line with the existing ICT literature on the matter, others even with the literature on genuine participation of children. However, children and their participation were also constructed as “problematic” in many senses.

Research limitations/implications

The study contributes to and opens up avenues for critical research on genuine participation of users, especially children.

Practical implications

Practical suggestions for researchers interested in participation of children in ICT design are provided.

Originality/value

While research literature offers an abundance of best practices and an idealized view on children and their participation, this study shows the multitude of challenges involved and discourses circulating around.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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