“Define the following 8 terms / phrases as they relate to community informatics in your OWN words and in no more than 3 sentences.”
1. Bridging and bonding (in the context of social capital)
In the context of social capital (the strength of a community network), bridging usually refers to large-scale, instrumental network ties between diverse, innovative people/groups. Bonding ties are similar to ties between family and close friends. With bonding social capital, there is a greater emphasis on the trust and culture of a group; less emphasis is put on productivity.
2. Civic engagement
Civic engagement refers how individuals or communities (local or virtual) use information and communication technology (ICT) to participate in social or political communities.
3. Community informatics
Community informatics (CI) is a growing interdisciplinary field of study that considers how different communities can utilize information and communication technology (ICT) to stimulate community action. Individuals interested in library & information science and/or community technology centers (CTCs) can use CI theory and research to design contextually appropriate ICT solutions for institutions working to foster digital inclusion in their local communities.
4. Digital citizenship
Digital citizenship allows people to participate in social and political activities online. Communities with no (or poor quality, or inappropriate) ICT access, technical support, and/or digital literacy skills will not have equal opportunities to collaborate and share. CI aspires to contribute to equality in both local and global citizenship.
5. Participatory action research
Participatory action research is an in-depth exploration of a community’s use of ICTs. The researcher is focused on investigating specific, context-sensitive methods of improving current community practice. Each researcher (or research team) selects unique aspects of a community to study, so findings will be unique to each community.
6. CI as a global strategy
Each human community on Earth could potentially use ICTs to collaborate and innovate to solve major global issues (ie. eliminate poverty, environmental sustainability, universal education, etc.) and prepare to respond and recover in times of crisis. CI theory and practice stimulates contextually relevant CTC and ICT development in communities all over the world.
7. Social network
People and organizations can use social networks to develop relationships and connect with other people and organizations. Relationships on social networks can be classified as strong or weak and they can fluctuate independent of or alongside real-life relationships. Social networks facilitate new types of community sharing, collaboration, and conversation.
Community technology centers (CTCs) could become gathering places for community groups to brainstorm and work to resolve communal issues and build closer relationships with individuals (in-person and/or online). CTCs and ICTs are considered successful when members of a community feel empowered. CTCs and ICTs are sustainable if members of a community are able to synthesize them into education, work, and (ultimately) daily life.