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Journal Article

Secret Level: Evaluation of a New Zealand Community ICT Project  pp1-12

Barbara Crump, Keri Logan

© Jan 2011 Volume 14 Issue 1, ECIME 2010 Special Issue, Editor: Miguel de Castro Neto, pp1 - 166

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Abstract

Multiple objectives relating to Connection, Personal Development and Information were the stated outcomes of establishing a suite of computing facilities in a New Zealand city youth centre named Secret Level. The youth centre offered a wide range of both structured and unstructured activities and events. The computing suite included a wireless local area network with Internet access, six moveable, thin client terminals located in the cafĂ© area and three high‑specification multimedia computers with printer and scanner in a separate room. The project was financed from the government’s Community Digital Strategy Partnership Fund that aimed to support local, regional and national initiatives to develop and achieve capability, confidence, relevant content and connection to realise community aspirations through information and communication technology (ICT). This paper presents the evaluation of the ICT youth project after just four months of operation. The mixed‑method study, framed by the overlapping constructs of self‑efficacy, social and human capital and third place, involved a survey, semi‑structured interviews and observations. The findings revealed that most of the measures of success defined for the project were met but evaluation of many of the Personal Development objectives relating to an increase in the work, study, ICT and literacy skills of youth was not possible, due to the short evaluation period.

 

Keywords: social capital, computing, ICT, digital divide, third place, youth

 

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