Digital Divide and Social Inclusion (VII): Education for the Knowledge Society through Social Inclusion

Notes from the first II Conferencia Internacional Brecha Digital e Inclusión Social (II International Conference on the Digital Divide and Social Inclusion held at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid will be hosting at their campus in Leganés (Spain) on October 28th to 30th, 2009.

Plenary session: Education for the Knowledge Society through Social Inclusion
Moderator: Juan Manuel Villasuso Estomba, Professor at the Universidad de Costa Rica y Director de PROSIC

Digital Divide: Results of a cognitive summation
Jesús Lau, Director de la USBI Veracruz y Coordinador de la Biblioteca Virtual, Universidad Veracruzana

Education makes a difference in technology adoption. But socialization — or the social factor — is even more important. on the other hand, we tend to focus on content, on knowledge, when assessing the success of education, but just seldom focus on skills and competences; though this should be the goal of the school and of Education at large.

Cognitive processes become useful when applied into action. That’s why the shift from knowledge to competences is so important.

Map of skills:

  • reasoning,
  • oral expression,
  • literacy,
  • ICT skills and media literacy,
  • informational literacy.

While Internet penetration is still low and increases with a very low speed, mobile telephony has a higher penetration and is indeed more quickly adopted by new users. We should probably leverage mobile telephony to foster access to the Information Society.

Some insights:

  • The technological divide is an output of the economic development
  • Education is determinant for social inclusion
  • Cognitive inequality is cause-effect of the digital divide
  • We need inclusive societies, and education is an inequality killer
  • Policies of informational inclusion are highly required

Multiliteracy, citizenry and social inclusion
Manuel Area Moreira (Catedrático de Didáctica y Organización Escolar. Facultad de Educación de la Universidad de La Laguna

Please go to to see the embedded presentation

Libraries, historically: expensive, based on scarcity, classy or elitist, individualist. Now, content is free, there is abundance, democratization of the access to knowledge, interactivity.

The digital divide is not only lack of access to technology, but the practices. Illiteracy has always been a factor of differentiation and power. But, actually, the concept itself of citizenship has changed in a digital society. To be a full citizen, several literacies have to be mastered: basic literacy, media, technological and informational. We need multiliteracies.

Two opposite approaches when fostering the Information Society: mercantilist vs. aimed towards inclusion for a democratic development. In the words of Paulo Freire: Banking literacy (I’ve got stock of knowledge and can give it to you) vs. problem literacy (you have to feel you need to know things to solve your problems).

Dimensions of skills:

  • Instrumental dimension: know how to access information
  • Cognitive dimension: know how to transform the information into knowledge
  • Socio-comunicational dimension: know how to express oneself and communicate
  • Axiological dimension: know how to use information democratically and ethically

Summing up: without a multiliterate citizenry there will be not a democratic building of the Information Society.

Computer and Informational Literacies (Ci2) in Higher Education
Nieves González Fernández-Villavicencio, Head of the Sección de Tecnología y Sistemas de la Biblioteca de la Universidad de Sevilla. Biblioteca General Universitaria

How do digital natives behave? Concerning just usage (not their skills) it doesn’t seem that there are many different across ages, being “just for fun” the main reason people access the Internet. Hence, digital natives might not be that savvy when it comes to mastering usage (not tools).

Information search and usage techniques: a new subject in the syllabuses of the new degrees at UC3M
Mayte Ramos, Director of the Biblioteca del Campus de Colmenarejo de la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid; Raúl Aguilera, Director of the Biblioteca de Ciencias Sociales y Jurídicas de la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

The European Higher Education Area (EHEA) offers new opportunities to change the way people learn and, more important, how resources are made available for and used by students. This, of course, puts the focus on students’ competences and, among others, on digital skills, necessary to access digital information.

The library helped in creating a subject on “Search and usage of information techniques”:

  • where to find information you can trust;
  • ethical use of information, citing and bibliography;
  • information retrieving in electronic environments


I think that most definitions on what digital literacy is, fall short in many issues, especially in the community factor and the strategical factor. Please see Towards a comprehensive definition of digital skills, by myself prior in this blog.

On the other hand, after a debate on “good” or “bad” uses of the Internet, I strongly recommend reading Neuman & Celano’s The Knowledge Gap: Implications of Leveling the Playing Field for Low-Income and Middle-Income Children and Warschauer’s Laptops and Literacy: A Multi-Site Case Study.


II International Conference on the Digital Divide and Social Inclusion (2009)

Digital Divide and Social Inclusion (VI): Information and technology in the Health system: Initiatives and good practices

Notes from the first II Conferencia Internacional Brecha Digital e Inclusión Social (II International Conference on the Digital Divide and Social Inclusion held at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid will be hosting at their campus in Leganés (Spain) on October 28th to 30th, 2009.

Parallel session: Information and technology in the Health system: Initiatives and good practices

Design of innovative practices for a synergistic attention of chronic diseases in the health and social environment with the assistance of ICTs. Rosetta project.
Emilio Herrera Molina

Increasingly, more patients develop chronic diseases, which pose serious problems related to assuming leaving with them, make their treatment economically sustainable, etc.

Different needs depending on whether you’re a patient, a professional, a technician, or a member of a directive board.

The Rosetta project will be applied to three chronic diseases (diabetes, brain-vascular accident, chronic obstructive lung disease) and link a catalogue of technologies with treatments that used those technologies in one of the selected diseases. E.g. someone used video-conference to do tele-assistance for diabetic patients. The idea being to introduce disruptive — while tested — new ways of interaction and assistance.

Indeed, in a world with more disabled people (a result of our longer life-expectancy) this project can bring technologies closer not only to chronic patients but to a larger group of people.

Digital literacy and main initiatives in Open Access in Health science
Jorge Veiga de Cabo

Digital literacy: much more than reading or writing, based in a functional approach. Skills, knowledge, attitudes to be fully functional in the Information Society.

In relative terms, we’re witnessing a (though slow) balancing in the international contribution to open access repositories in health-related subjects. See, for instance, the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR).

Quality management: ICTs as cooperation strategies
Pedro Sa Moreira

From e-Health, the patient is reactive, to i-Health, the patient is proactive.

Quality management should lead to cooperation and be able to catalogue best practices, so to put them publicly available for these upcoming e- or i-patients.

Practice sharing should, of course, be based on open access repositories fed by institutions and individuals (professionals).

Quality management and knowledge management are two sides of the same coin.

A project for a Health Virtual Library for international cooperation
Carmen S. Ardila; Rosa Trigueros Terrés; María García-Puente Sánchez; Juan María de la Cámara de las Heras

Ayudsan, a platform oriented to make development cooperation programmes in Health easier, mainly fed with content by volunteer contributions.

Information in the site:

  • Training, including e-learning tools, a directory of professionals and trainers, etc.
  • Travelling protocols
  • Collaboration section, so that NGOs can interact and network amongst themselves or with individuals (e.g. volunteers)
  • Communicaton: f2f, virtual, multichannel, etc. enhanced by the site.
  • Virtual library

International collaboration and good practices in the management of complex chronic diseases through Web 2.0 tools: Observatorio de Prácticas Innovadoras en el Manejo de Enfermedades Crónicas Complejas (OPIMEC).
Diana Gosálvez Prados; A. Jadad Bechara; D. Gosálvez Prados; AJ. Contreras Sánchez; A. López Ruiz; F. Martos Pérez; J. Venegas García; E. Peinado Álvarez; A. Cabrera León

Why: chronic diseases are increasing and, due to their nature, pose severe challenges to patients, professionals, families, etc. Many of these challenges can be addressed through collaboration, and here is when Web 2.0 tools come to the rescue.

The OPIMEC (Observatory of Innovative Practices in handling Complex Chronic Diseases) gathers experiences in the field in a collaborative way. The platform is open and aims at helping people to share quality information, enable networking between professionals, etc.

Besides what’s on the website — impressive, BTW — the collaboration on the platform has produced books, directories of experts, etc.

More information


II International Conference on the Digital Divide and Social Inclusion (2009)

Digital Divide and Social Inclusion (V): Knowledge management and ICT in Health

Notes from the first II Conferencia Internacional Brecha Digital e Inclusión Social (II International Conference on the Digital Divide and Social Inclusion held at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid will be hosting at their campus in Leganés (Spain) on October 28th to 30th, 2009.

Parallel session: Trends and advances before the digital divide: assessment systems and good practices
Moderator: Concepción Colomer Revuelta, Subdirector at the Oficina de Planificación Sanitaria and Director del Observatorio de Salud de la Mujer del Ministerio de Sanidad y Política Social

Digital and informational divides in a context of digital, cultural, cognitive and generational convergence
Marcelo D’Agostino, Consultant in Knowledge Management, Organización Panamericana de la Salud

Marcelo D’Agostino believes that the digital digital will shrink, necessarily, as the Internet won’t make steps backwards [he seems to forget that the digital divide is actually widening, especially if we take into account the quality of access, namely, broadband access, and what you can or cannot do with that different quality of access].

Advise to bridge the digital divide:

  • Don’t be intimidated by technical jargon
  • Don’t be afraid of technology
  • Nobody is an expert in everything
  • Trust first your capacity and then apply technologies
  • Be careful where you look for information

Benefits of ICTs for Public Health: a better link between patients and professionals; better and life-long training.

Open access to health and medical information: a challenge before the digital divide
Helena Martín Rodero, Head of the Sección Bibliotecas Biosanitarias de la Universidad de Salamanca

Raghavendra Gadagkar: open-access more harm than good in developing world (published in Nature, comment by Peter Suber) stating the rich world patronising the poor world, in the sense that rich ones might be more interested in poor ones reading rather than publishing.

We are witnessing a crisis in the system of scientific diffusion, that has lead to the creation of the Open Access movement and several international declarations to foster scientific publishing in open access journals (gold access) or scientific self-archiving in open access repositories (green access).

Open access is compatible with peer-review, professional quality, prestige, preservation, intellectual property, profit, priced add-ons and print (originally in Open access to the scientific journal literature, by Peter Suber.

Access to knowledge will necessarily help to bridge the digital divide, and open access publications and repositories is a way to enable a better access to knowledge.

Web 2.0 and Medicine
Dídac Margaix Arnal, Librarian at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia

New generations (digital natives) have been born with new technologies and these are no strange to them. Have different skills towards technology and information, which they manage in different ways.

We might be in an age similar to the Renaissance, where technology feeds cultural and social change, and culture and society feed technological change.

Three kinds of Web 2.0 sites

  • The web as the platform: use the web instead of the desktop (e.g. Zoho)
  • Remix the web: use the web to mix different content (e.g. Google Maps)
  • The social web: it is users what counts, not visits. Users add value to the site (e.g. YouTube)

Medicine 2.0: use of a set of web tools by health professionals applying the principles of open source, open access, etc. It is different from e-Medicine, that is applying ICTs in health issues. There has been an inflexion point that has put humans into technology, from just ICTs to the dimension of community. It is a matter not of technology but of participation.

Some factors:

  • “Suppormediation”: support and mediation by non-professionals (in Spanish: Apomediación)
  • Collaboration
  • Transparency

There increasingly are websites that provide health information on the Internet. We should prescribe more information than pills (or, at least, as much information as pills).

Summing up: new agents, new tools, collaboration, personalization, training.

Internet and Health
David Novillo Ortiz, Agencia de Calidad del Sistema Nacional de Salud. Ministerio de Sanidad y Política social

Related to health, increasingly people get their information from the Internet and less from TV, and more from blogs. In general, e-mail, search engines and social networking sites have entered with strength into the information landscape.

Search for health information in the Internet has gone from 19% in 2003 to 54% in 2008 (Spain, % of total Internet users). There is a gender gap where women score 10 points higher than men, probably due to their role as the person at home that cares for the family members.

In April 2007, the same search terms in 4 different search engines produced only 0.6% of overlap (only 0.6% of all results were the same in the 4 search engines). We should be careful about that, as the information that search engines produce is, by any means, the same one ever.

Indeed, we trust more the people we know that the ones we don’t, that’s why Google Social Search might be adding a lot of value as it will bring personal context to people’s searches.

On the other hand, we can access certified/verified health websites whose information is backed by the reputation of the institutions that publish those websites. E.g., a metasearch engine that crawls the best health websites in Spanish.

More information


II International Conference on the Digital Divide and Social Inclusion (2009)

Digital Divide and Social Inclusion (IV): Trends and advances before the digital divide: assessment systems and good practices

Notes from the first II Conferencia Internacional Brecha Digital e Inclusión Social (II International Conference on the Digital Divide and Social Inclusion held at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid will be hosting at their campus in Leganés (Spain) on October 28th to 30th, 2009.

Parallel session: Trends and advances before the digital divide: assessment systems and good practices
Moderator: Ana María Morales García, Professor at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Subdirector of the Instituto Universitario Agustín Millares

Project Andalucía Compromiso Digital. A volunteering project to bring ICTs to the andalusian society
Miryam Jiménez

After deploying telecentres through the Guadalinfo project, some people would still not access the Internet. Among other reasons, lack of someone to guide them through would be a major issue. Thus why Andalucía Compromiso Digital, so that volunteers would accompany people on their way towards the Information Society. The volunteering part is, undoubtedly, the new and important part in this digital inclusion project.

Digital guiding is not a technical service, a course, a workshop, or a visit. Is the way volunteers offer their own help and knowledge so that participants in the project approach ICTs.

Guiding can be accessed both at telecentres (Guadalinfo Centres, ICT Centres, libraries) and at home.

The volunteer, more than a technologist, is a person that tries to find out the needs of the user and humanizes the technology, raising awareness, improving skills.

And not only citizens, but private organizations also take part in the project. Not only by sponsoring, but sharing the goals, contributing to the diffusion of the project and, especially, by participating with corporate volunteering.

The project also has some shared resources on a website: training resources, intranet for the volunteers, coordination site for the managers, a call-centre, etc.

More than 1,000 volunteers that have performed more than 34,000 guiding actions.

Good practices in Technological Literacy to bridge the digital divides from Extremadura to Latin America
Evangelina Sánchez

Main goals of the initial plan in Extremadura (Spain, late 1990s): connectivity in all towns and technological literacy for all citizens. Based in free software and training.

Next step: technological cooperation with Latin America, sharing the model based in technological literacy and free software as a locomotive for development. Main tools have been workshops and training sessions which take place online (first with Claroline, now with Moodle).

7 basic gnuLinEx (their own Linux distro) workshops, 2 advanced on gnuLinEx and 2 training-for-trainers courses, followed by more than 1,000 in many countries in Latin America.

In 2008 the Red Iberoamericana para la Cooperación Technologica was created to bring to another level the cooperation between organizations and countries. The Red de Centros de Desarrollo Regional Piri-Inchalá followed to share good practices in telecentres. Red de Mujeres Ciudadanas focuses on the gender divide.

Analyses of Intelligent Community Centres as a public policy to bridge the digital divide in Costa Rica.
Elena Jara Gómez

34% of computers at home, 14% of homes connected.

Intelligent Community Centres: labs placed in strategic communities to foster inclusion, managed by local institutions and coordinated by the Ministry of Communications, Industry and Technology. Goals:

  • universal access,
  • achieve higher quality of life by means of ICTs,
  • strengthen citizen participation,
  • empower citizenry with ICTs.

Indeed, e-government services will become the driver through which to catalyse the effective usage of ICTs and actually engage in an active citizenship.

Media treatment of the digital divide in Spain. An analysis of its reference in mass media.
María Cristina Pinto Arboleda.

The media have been transforming the language used to refer to the digital divide, the lack of access to ICTs, etc. But langauge should be homogeneous so that decision-taking happens on a common ground. So, international reports and local newspapers were analysed to map the different concepts around the phenomenon of the digital divide. Indeed, along with the concepts also initiatives to legitimize certain approaches were also analysed.

Initially, the term was about digital access, while now it is a much more complex term, not as much as related to a tool, as with empowerment.

Methodology strongly relying on mass media communication, political communication, discourse analysis, etc. Some of the most interesting topics around the treatment of the digital divide are related with advertising or with myths and metaphors.

Three main groups: Related with ICTs, Related with technologies in general, Related with rights in general. And also related with the structure, the infrastructure and the superstructure.

The term digital divide was related to technological infrastructure; development; exclusion; and the Information Society. And quite often, it was dealt as a very generic concept, without details of the context.

Normally, the relevance of the public factor (e.g. the government) was overwhelming. This meant that the message comes in a quite top-down manner and with lack of debate. It is a very superstructural discourse, very ideological, without practices or applications.

Building a concept of the Digital Divide: Equipment + development + modernization = (- social exclusion) and the Information Society.

Towards a comprehensive model of the Digital Economy
Ismael Peña-López

Please see

Measuring digital development for policy-making: the role of the Government
Ismael Peña-López

Please see

Spanish telecentre portals in 2009: new paradigm for social inclusion
Ana Mª Morales García; Belén Pérez Lorenzo; Fátima García López; Mª Teresa Monje Jiménez

Hypothesis: telecentres are not only educational centres, but drivers of change and progress. What are the characteristics of these telecentres and their services? How to assess them?

Create a set of indicators about the usage of services in telecentres (including all kind of public access points to the Internet).

Before 2002, telecentres last 2 o 3 years maximum, as that was what funding last. From then on, sustainability was taken into account so that they could be established for the long run. Telecentres in Spain skyrocketed from circa 75 in 2002 to more than 6500 in 2008. But there are 14 different telecentre networks in Spain. Why not a single one? There is, nevertheless, a Community of telecentre networks. And the Spanish government is diffusing a catalogue of possible services that telecentres can offer.

This catalogue will be used to build a set of indicators to assess the performance of telecentres, especially in issues related with usage and grouped in categories: e-Administration, e-Learning, e-Banking, e-Health, e-Commerce, internet and Technology, information and services for the citizen, search of information, jobs and employment, etc.

These indicators have also been grouped according to performance criteria: availability, adequacy of services for the user, relationship with other organizations, etc.

More information


II International Conference on the Digital Divide and Social Inclusion (2009)

Digital Divide and Social Inclusion (III): Organizations and institutions before the digital divide: model development and good practices

Notes from the first II Conferencia Internacional Brecha Digital e Inclusión Social (II International Conference on the Digital Divide and Social Inclusion held at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid will be hosting at their campus in Leganés (Spain) on October 28th to 30th, 2009.

Plenary session: Organizations and institutions before the digital divide: model development and good practices
Moderator: Margarita Taladriz Mas, Director of the Biblioteca de la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Digital inclusion and access to the Information Society in Brazil
Emir José Suaiden, Professor at the Universidad de Brasilia and Director of the IBICT.

Many inequalities come from the different level of access to education. The Information Society just make inequalities even worse. Thus, problem is not (only) access, but comprehension and understanding. Only the ones that benefited from the “Gutemberg Revolution” can now benefit from the ICT revolution: in Brazil, only 20% of the readers can be considered critical readers. The other 80% remains uncritical and is easy to manipulate by means e.g. of mass media.

Main problems: illiteracy, functional illiteracy, lack of informational infrastructure, brain drain.

Illiteracy leads to more dependent and less creative people, easy to manipulate or to misinform.

Thus, libraries have a very important role in bridging this information divide. Libraries should evolve into hybrid libraries, half offline, half online. They should be transferring not only information, but knowledge and help in building social capital.

In general, policies to foster the Information Society is not about wiring the country and attaching a computer at the end of the wires, but about gathering and using knowledge, both old and new knowledge. And all of this with a goal in mind: social inclusion.

New knowledge, innnovation, does not only need to be supported, but embedded into the network, so that in can be diffused, shared, applied.

Concerning Education, Freire and Vygotsky become relevant again.

The impact of informational inclusion in building the social equity: the case of IBICT
Cecilia Leite Oliveira, Instituto Brasileiro de Infomação em Ciencia e Tecnologia

The role of science and scientists is being the keystone for informational development: information has to be turned into knowledge and be applied into practice. And part of this practice, in the Information and Knowledge Society is feeding the system back with knowledge so that new knowledge is created.

Beyond infrastructures, it is the users’ training and content creation what will really bridge the digital divide.

Some projects at IBICT:

  • Review of Social Inclusion
  • Digital Inclusion Map: literally, a map of places where there were projects for digital inclusion (e.g. a telecentre), what is being done there, how many people benefit from each project, etc.
  • Brazilian Service of Technical Answers (SBRT)
  • Digital Corridor: indigenous, rural and educational (actually, three thematic “corridors”)
  • Product Life-cycle Assessment
  • Informational Literacy

Actors in network: the digital inclusion experience of the NAP Escuela del Futuro – USP
Brasilina Passarelli, Scientific Coordinator of PAM. Escuela de la USP/Futuro, Brasilia

Accessa São Paulo. Goal of the project: Guarantee free and democratic access to technologies. See also the blog.

One of the problems that Brazil has it’s its magnitude: with almost 200 million inhabitants, its internal situation ranges so much that it could be called “BelIndia”, as it’s got from the best of Belgium to the worst of India.

Besides the services that Accessa São Paulo brings to the end user, a whole set of monitoring tools provide real time data about usage that are also used for researchers to assess and improve the project itself.

80% of users under 24y.o., 83% with minimum wage, 82% use frequently e-mail, 75% think the Internet had a positive impact on their lives, 90% use the Internet to establish communities (friends, family), most of them would not be accessing the Internet without Accessa São Paulo’s facilities (499 posts across the whole state).

Most people use the facilities to exchange e-mail and get general information, but also to look for a job (36%) or to search for information on health issues (25%).

Posts managers are trained constantly to provide better and more adequate services to the users. At their turn, the users are encouraged to create their own content, to share online their own experiences.

The Digital Library, a tool for inclusion
Joaquín Pinto Escribano, Director of the Centro Internacional de Tecnológicas Avanzadas (CITA)

We lack the culture to solve the problems that the new technology (already completely embedded in our society) is bringing. This is the digital divide. There is also a lack of competences, competences to master technologies.

Hypothesis at CITA: in a few years, there’ll be no need for a library (at all) at CITA. People have learnt (or will have learnt) how to deal with information in different ways than the ones we have been using in the past 200 years. Thus, places as such tend to disappear, and with them, some practices and some business models.

So, the public is changing. There is an upcoming prosumer that does everything digitally and online. They get and create content, and the content they get and create is multimedia. Bridging the digital divide is not only that people can catch up with these new prosumers, but that prosumers can feel at home in a world still populated by non-prosumers.

OAIster Digital school libraries: new school libraries unstructured, that leave room for folksonomies, with search engines that add context and have “memory” of your own searches, providing a semantic web layer.

All in all, digital inclusion is not about access, but about using digital resources for inclusion.

Cooperation actions before the digital divide at the Ministry of Culture
Mª Antonia Carrato, Subdirector General of Coordinación Bibliotecaria

Daniel Pimienta: access is a pyramid made of Infrastructure, Infoestructure and Infoculture (Pimienta, D. (2008). La biblioteca accessible. IV Congreso Nacional de Bibliotecas Públicas, La Coruña) (Download the slides, PDF)

Libraries as:

  • Learning mediators: offer a perfect place to find infrastructructures, infoestructures and an infoculture where everyone shares information and the same information needs.
  • Places for socialization

One of the best assets the library has regarding information is reputation: in front of the lack of reputation that the Internet still has, the librarian is a reputed professional that people trust. This is, undoubtedly, one of the reasons libraries are a good place where to access the Internet if the user is not confident enough to do it without some guidance.

The Library Cooperation Council was created in Spain in 2007 so that libraries cooperated in setting up strategies, sharing resources and, in the end, to foster reading and informational literacy.

Consejo de Cooperación Bibliotecaria (2009) Hacia la Alfabetización Informacional en las bibliotecas públicas españolas (PDF), Report of the Working Group on Informational Literacy.


Ismael Peña-López: the library and the librarian is like journals and journalists, in the sense that there still is (and maybe increasingly) a need for the professional, but the institution needs to be transformed

More information


II International Conference on the Digital Divide and Social Inclusion (2009)

Digital Divide and Social Inclusion (II): Web 2.0 Applications and Access to ICTs in Information Systems

Notes from the first II Conferencia Internacional Brecha Digital e Inclusión Social (II International Conference on the Digital Divide and Social Inclusion held at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid will be hosting at their campus in Leganés (Spain) on October 28th to 30th, 2009.

Parallel session: Web 2.0 Applications and Access to ICTs in Information Systems
Moderator: Belén Pérez Lorenzo, Consultant and Professor de la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Development and application of a blog to publish content on the net and communicate for senior users
Fausto Sainz de Salces; Guillermina Franco Álvarez; Antonio Borondo Cobo

Goal: test, from a human-computer interaction (HCI) point of view, how such a blog should be designed and built so to match specific characteristics of senior users. The end goals being: foster communication amongst elder people, train digital competences, fight the digital divide.

Aspects to improve:

  • Colors need to be adapted to the user. Not only to their physical needs, but also to their attitudes and feelings.
  • Some concepts with which most users are familiar with, have to be explained to new users or to other kinds of users

Towards the library 2.0: the project of the UC3M library.
Francisco López Hernández

How to turn a passive (library) user into an active one.


Presence in Social Networking Sites

  • Profile in Facebook: aim is to adapt content to the specific user, avoiding replication of content between different sites
  • Profile in Tuenti, a Spanish social networking site, very popular amongst teens
  • Profile in Twitter
  • Forum: reading club
  • Campus in Second Life

The Library has to be present in the spaces of the students, but without interfering in their lives.

Access and usage of ICTs in enterprises in Costa Rica
Alejandro Rodríguez Solís

Enterprises see ICTs as ways to support training and improve decision-taking. But most of SMEs entrepreneurs are digitally illiterate and are not even aware of the potential benefits of ICTs (not to mention using them).

Goal of research: find out reasons of ICT adoption. Based on a survey to SMEs in Costa Rica, following the guidelines of the OSILAC.

In general, most enterprises have computers, access to Internet and LAN, though the penetration decreases as the size of the enterprise does. Intranets, extranets, wifi access, use of e-commerce (to sell and buy) and other issues are less and less present in enterprises in Costa Rica.

Nevertheless, there is a major acknowledgement that ICTs have eased communication with customers and providers and have had a positive impact on sales or on cutting costs down.


  • digital divide between big enterprises and SMEs;
  • in general, all enterprises are late adopters of technology in many issues;
  • urgent need for research on the impact of ICTs on the enterprise so to raise awareness.

Economic and political factors of the digital divide
Sonia Sánchez-Cuadrado; Jorge
Morato Lara; José Antonio Moreiro González; Vicente Palacios Madrid

We tend to think that the basis of the digital divide is economic, a matter of income. But there are many initiatives to bridge the digital divide: search engines, free software, automatic translators, the Wikipedia itself, open access to educational resources (e.g. OpenCourseWare), etc.

Of course, it is true that wealth and education are determinant for Internet access. But there also exists a cultural divide that comes from a lack of a certain level of education, not speaking English, etc.

There are, luckily, plenty of international initiatives to foster content creation and content sharing. Notwithstanding, other initiatives are just going the opposite way: micro-payments to access digital content, illegal downloading of copyrighted content (not judging whether is it a good or a bad thing to do, but certainly contributing to the digital divide), censorship or self-censorship, manipulation of the public opinion, spam, credibility of websites, certain criteria to award grants, etc.

Conclusions: a digital divide due to socioeconomic and cultural reasons; nationalist and business policies that negatively affect the digital divide.

Solutions: multinational initiatives and bring credibility to the content that resides on the Web.

Difusión y reproducción digital de obras de arte por medio de bibliotecas virtuales y
consecuencias de una revolución cultural
Ilia Galán

Factum Arte clones works of art, hard (if able) to distinguish from the original piece. In a sense, what happened with digital products could be happening in real/analogue products, putting into struggle e.g. museums. Dilemma: enable the diffusion of culture through perfect copies, or caring about the originals and their holders? Are we universalizing culture or trivializing it?

The good thing about digitizing the original is that (a) it can be reproduced with highest quality (b) it can be stored at lowest cost by just keeping the digital copy (c) it can be recovered from a backup in case of destruction of the original.

On the other hand, the drawback is that these technologies would be expensive and somehow help to increase the digital divide.

Los sistemas de gestión de contenidos como generadores de sinergias y redes de
colaboración: relato de dos experiencias peruanas
Luis Miguel Arias Martínez;
Carlos Vílchez Román

Sociologia7’s Blog colaborativo de la Sociología Faustiniana, a blog about Sociology made by the students.

He, notwithstanding, prefers Drupal to WordPress.

Libraries 2.0: tools to bridge the digital divide
Belén Pérez Lorenzo; Ana
Mª Morales García; Mª Teresa Monje Jiménez; Fátima García López

[Pérez introduces the concept of the web 2.0]

Why web 2.0 applications can bridge the digital divide? How are they being used by libraries?

Free; low cost to participate; easy to manage; the web as the platform; accessible through any computer connected to the Internet; independent from proprietary software; always up-to-date (perpetual beta).

Web 2.0 apps are collaborative and participative; new models of usage; free and open knowledge; used by digital natives.

Example: the Biblioteca Públcia de San Miguel de Salinas.

Farkas, M. (2007) Social software in libraries: building collaboration, communication and community online. Medford, N.J: Information Today

More information


II International Conference on the Digital Divide and Social Inclusion (2009)