Globalized Students vs. Unglobalized Families: Limiting Family Participation in Education

Margarita Machado-Casas, Elsa Ruiz


In today’s society, the use technology is no longer a luxury but a need (Machado-Casas, 2009; Sánchez, 2010). Considering this, countless education stakeholders have explored the concept of the digital divide, the gap that exists between people who have access to digital technology and those who do not. Oftentimes, this divide exists between parents, particularly, Latino parents who lack access to technology and their children who have more access to it via school technology-based curriculum and the creation of afterschool technology programs. Countless afterschool technology literacy programs have been created to help students improve technology literacy skills; however, many do not offer families the same opportunity. Therefore, expanding the digital divide that exists between students and families. Based on a three year qualitative and quantitative research study, this manuscript raises questions about the ways schools continue to develop technology programs aimed at schooling (“globalized”) students, yet they do not take into account that while schools are globalizing students their families continue to be less technologically developed (“unglobalized”). This study explores the digital divide that often times is present at home, creating a multigenerational gap between parents and their children, a border that children have crossed and their families have not. The study looks at the example of La Clase Mágica, a technology literacy afterschool program for student and their families, in which parent workshops were used to explore the technology needs of family members to create a program that was culturally, linguistically, and technologically diverse. The program not only helped parents forge connections with their children, but also facilitated their successful participation in society as they use technological tools to perform everyday tasks and strive to create a “familia global” (globalized family).

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