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ERIC Number: ED407929
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Jun
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Culture of Computer Technology in Education and Research: A Canadian Perspective.
Blanchette, Judith
Canadians find it necessary to both define and defend their cultural identity partly because their historic, geographic, and political differences from the United States are frequently overshadowed by the many characteristics the two countries share: a continent, a very high standard of living, a language, and a popular culture as presented through the media. With the advent of computer technology, cultural erosion by U.S. publishing, broadcasting, and entertainment has again become a threat to Canadians. Canadians have been "early adopters" of communications technology; Canada is a very large country with a sparse population and many isolated communities, and electronic communication has allowed residents to circumvent the need to rely on more traditional means of communication. Legislators have been proactive in technology issues but have often treated technology as neutral and static, failing to take into account the cultural and social biases inherent in the English-centered software market and Internet community. Canada is officially multi-cultural, and has both French and English as official languages, numerous indigenous languages, plus the languages of new citizens. The need to use the English language has a strong impact on linguistic integrity on non-primary English-speaking peoples. It is essential to shift the focus from the skills needed to operate the technologies to developing the knowledge to become critical users. In the hands of such users technology is beginning to have considerable cultural benefits, in the form of electronic Francophone communities as well as processes which lower the cost of producing French-language textbooks, reading material in Native American languages, and linguistic software. Issues of information control and research and education are also discussed. (Contains 18 references.) (SWC/BEW)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United States