CyberCircles is a paper written by Canadian researcher, Mike Patterson of Carleton University.  Patterson’s focuses the paper around many of his personal accounts of the positives that “cyberspace” and social media tools have had within the Aboriginal communities.  One of the biggest concerns is what Patterson calls “Institutional Interference: academic, Aboriginal, and other organizations have varied degrees of acceptance of these tools.”  Fear and reluctance of using such tools are real elements that the Aboriginal communities face, and it can be linked to the potential lack of training. “Cyber networks and communities have to develop their own technical expertise. There is an ongoing need for community capacity building to address these challenges and use video communications to its full potential.”  If education isn’t available to provide assistance to successfully implement cyber/social media tools, than the value and meaning of them becomes lost.  It doesn’t just stop with a “one-time” training session, the tools that are currently being used within cyberspace, are active and useable for the now but like everything, change occurs, and with these changes, retraining is necessary.

It does seem to be a vicious circle of how the in-and-outs of technologies are, but if we don’t focus on the “how” we can change the ways, the circle will remain broken, and the divide left unattended.

Patterson, Michael. CyberCircles: InternetWorking for Aboriginal Community Research.  Retrieved July 20, 2011.

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