Centre for Educational Multimedia
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Community Engagement

Relationships between students

One of the interesting things about ICT use at CSDE, is the important role computers play in to developing a connectedness amongst the student community. Most relationships amongst students are mediated through ICT. Many face to face relationships that students take for granted in an urban city school are mediated through a computer at CSDE due to the remote locations of the children's homes. ICT plays an important role in developing these relationships between students from an early age at school.

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Our kids are sitting out there, say a little grade 2 in the middle of nowhere with no other children to talk to so the best way to do that is through discussion boards and through email and things like that.


Community engagement in a school is best supported by a social approach to technology rather than a desire to acquire technological artefacts in school buildings. The success of Cairns School of Distance Education with innovative pedagogy in ICT rests on the belief that the artefacts are there to serve the relationships between people. By focusing on relationships and student engagement, innovative practices with ICT's have a better chance of withstanding technological change than a policy that invests heavily on the latest technological artefact. The stories above are a testament to the effectiveness of using ICT to support a diverse range of inclusive relationships that underpin pedagogical success.


Bigum, C. (2002). Design sensibilities, schools and the new computing and communication technologies. In I. Snyder (Ed.), Silicon literacies : communication, innovation and education in the electronic age (pp. 130-140). London: Routledge.

Feenberg, A. (1991). Critical theory of technology . New York: Oxford University Press.

Ferguson, K., & Seddon, T. (2007). Decentred education: suggestions for framing a socio-spatial research agenda. Critical Studies in Education, 48 (1), 111-129.

Franklin, U. M. (1992). The real world of technology . Concord, Ont.: Anansi.

Pacey, A. (1983). The culture of technology . Oxford, England: B. Blackwell.


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