Symposium (1)

Bridging the Digital Divide to Discover Hidden Talent in Deprived Populations

Brian Ambrose

Creative Director of Multimedia Services, Oberlin College, Ohio, USA

ICIE Conference Brian Ambrose

Experts in the mentorship of deprived students and in the creative use of advanced information technology work together in this session to illustrate opportunities for discovering and developing hidden talents. Young people who lack access to technology are at a severe disadvantage in complex 21st-century socioeconomic environments. The digital divide has been widening and deepening so we need to develop ways to build bridges across it. This session shows how socioeconomic deprivation suppresses the discovery of aspirations and the development of talents required for success in today's world. It also provides examples of remarkable resiliency and impressive talent ripe for development. Examples of bridge building across the digital divide include some recommendations for enabling deprived students to develop expertise with increasingly powerful and accessible public domain technologies that provide marketable 21st-century skills.

The Predicament and Isolation of Homeless College Students
Valerie Ambrose
Shasta College in Redding, California, USA
ICIE Conference Valerie Ambrose
Can students learn and find fulfillment when they are homeless? This session explores this question by reporting on a phenomenological study, the purpose of which was to describe the experience of homeless students in college. Little research has been conducted on/with homeless college students, and this study sheds light on what it is like to be one of these students. This session will share the structure and findings of the study, connect those findings to learning and motivation theory, and engage attendees in dialogue around the implications of these findings for homeless college students and the colleges that serve them. Study findings indicated that the participants lived in a world of homelessness that they could never fully ignore. All participants saw college as a way to escape homelessness in the short- and long-term. However, study findings suggest that homeless college students experience physical, emotional, and interpersonal challenges that hinder their ability to perform in school even though they are motivated to attain a college degree that they think will enable them to escape homelessness and find a job that will provide stability and security.