Objective 1

Foster relationships to better understand the nature of the digital divide in this community.


To begin, we built the foundation for relationships with our co-researchers that would be strengthened throughout the project. These relationships were critical for the creation of training sessions tailored to these women and creating a comfortable environment for collaboration. The methods for this included:

  • Photo sharing: Shared photos of family and friends from home
  • Google Map activity: Utilized Google Streetview to show our co-researchers where we come from through a creative use of technology.
  • Food Sharing: Bought or made foods that were often eaten in the areas where we were from and were typical to the season.
  • App Sharing: Showed our co-researchers some of our favorite apps and websites and let them explore the app to see how intuitive they were. Some of them showed us what they already knew by accessing their Google and Facebook accounts.

Once we were comfortable, we asked the women more questions about their current knowledge of computers, smartphones, and what they hoped to learn. We knew they went through a week long technology crash course, but felt the information was taught too quickly, and we sought to learn more about this. Questions included:

  • What skills were you taught?
  • Did you understand and do you remember everything that was taught?
  • Have you been able to use these skills in your lives?
  • Why did you want to learn?
  • What worked in the previous training and what didn’t?
  • What do you want to learn this time around?