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Digital Access for Jane Finch Youth: Who is Underserved and Why? (2021)

Posted on:
April 9, 2022

Focusing on the youth (aged 13-18) in the Jane Finch neighbourhood. This project is part of a much larger, trans-university research project being run by The City of Toronto entitled Digital Access: Who is Undeserved and Why? The main priority in this research is to tell the stories of the youth in the area and translating these lived experiences on paper and collaborating together to present their own narratives. Through a series of interviews documenting participant’s lived realities the authors identify the impediments to their access to digital and internet spaces and broaden the conversation around the impacts this has in their daily lives.

This project is interested in the experiences of high school students specifically (aged 13-18) located in the Jane- Finch community, with digital access following the transition to emergency remote learning. This study aims to fill in the gaps between mainstream media representation of online learning through misleading metrics and the lived realities of young people on the other side of the digital divide. By centering this study on the lived experiences of high school students from an historically underserved community, this data will begin to illuminate the realities of young people in Jane Finch that counter some of the narratives in the  mainstream media. The hope is to share these missing narratives in order to provide a fuller picture of the experiences of young people navigating emergency remote learning. Due to the novelty of such phenomena as Covid-19 tactical adjustments have been made to the research design in order to collect data.

The report outlines five key issues that have long existed but have become further amplified

  1. Inadequate technology
  2. Limited internet connection
  3. Insufficient internal structures to support online learning
  4. Insufficient external structures to support online learning
  5. Failure to adjust teaching pedagogies
Digital-Access - Who is Underserved and Why - Jane Finch Youth (2021)

Summary

Focusing on the youth (aged 13-18) in the Jane Finch neighbourhood. This project is part of a much larger, trans-university research project being run by The City of Toronto entitled Digital Access: Who is Undeserved and Why? The main priority in this research is to tell the stories of the youth in the area and translating these lived experiences on paper and collaborating together to present their own narratives. Through a series of interviews documenting participant’s lived realities the authors identify the impediments to their access to digital and internet spaces and broaden the conversation around the impacts this has in their daily lives.
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