Digital narratives, social connectivity and disadvantaged youth: raising aspirations for rural and low socioeconomic young people

Article


Hopkins, Susan and Ryan, Naomi. 2014. "Digital narratives, social connectivity and disadvantaged youth: raising aspirations for rural and low socioeconomic young people." Access: Critical Explorations of Equity in Higher Education. 1 (1), pp. 28-42.
Article Title

Digital narratives, social connectivity and disadvantaged youth: raising aspirations for rural and low socioeconomic young people

ERA Journal ID210738
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsHopkins, Susan (Author) and Ryan, Naomi (Author)
Journal TitleAccess: Critical Explorations of Equity in Higher Education
International Studies in Widening Participation
Journal Citation1 (1), pp. 28-42
Number of Pages15
Year2014
PublisherUniversity of Newcastle
ISSN2653-245X
2203-8841
Web Address (URL)http://nova.newcastle.edu.au/ceehe/index.php/iswp/article/view/5
Abstract

This paper explores the role of digital narratives and social media in promoting social integration, enculturation and expressive self-reflection within an enabling tertiary preparation program designed to raise the aspirations and widen the participation of economically and geographically disadvantaged young people in higher education. The program combined Digital Storytelling assessment with the use of social networking site Facebook as a learning management system. Students from rural and low socioeconomic backgrounds with low secondary school results, low aspiration and little opportunity for matriculation to universities, benefited from intensive intervention strategies which focused not only on academic preparation but on the social and cultural obstacles underlying inequality in higher education participation. Combining face-to-face teaching, mentoring and pastoral care with integrated digital platforms may provide a non-traditional pathway which facilitates not only academic and technological competence but the opportunity for non-traditional students to become more connected, confident and visible in higher education.

Keywordsenabling education; tertiary preparation; digital narratives; youthful identities and aspirations
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020399999. Other education not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsOpen Access College
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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