Work and play in the information age: Technology utilization in Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Vander Leest, Tricia
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This research examined technology-related learning opportunities for children at Boys & Girls Clubs. It considers Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) technology programs within the larger context of afterschool programs and for preparing youth for the 21st century workforce. The findings illustrate ways that specific programs introduce and enhance technical skills, promote internet savvy, and build computer fluency while simultaneously reinforcing core social-development outcomes. Research included observations at 38 clubs across 15 organizations in four states, selected to cover a wide range of resource levels and program designs. Open-ended interviews were conducted with 86 key actors. We observed and informally interacted with many current and former club members and parents. This research findings include the following highlights: (1) Technology is used widely in Boys & Girls Clubs, (2) The BGCA federation successfully leverages its organizational architecture, (3) Technology programs promote learning, (4) Technology programs support positive socialization, and (5) Challenges persist.
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