National Research Council of Italy (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN19 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 7551-7559
ISBN: 978-84-09-12031-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2019.1814
Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain
According to Save the Children, the Italian NGO promoting humanitarian projects to help children in 117 countries, educational poverty is defined as “the impossibility for children and teenagers to learn, experiment, develop and freely foster their capacities, talents and aspirations”.

Educational poverty is a multifaceted problem; it is the result of several interrelated issues and, consequently, it can be assessed by integrating different indicators: early school-leaving rates, results on competences in school education (e.g. OCSE PISA), the educational and cultural context offered by the territory where children take part to recreational, sport, cultural extra-curricular activities.

In 2018, the Authority for Children and Adolescents of Palermo (ITALY) has coordinated a research named “Habits and lifestyles of adolescents in Palermo" aimed at investigating the factors that can positively or negatively modify the level of educational poverty, the services available for the adolescents, and how boys and girls exploit the potentials offered by these services (i.e.: their habits and lifestyles).

A questionnaire has been submitted to 2100 boys and girls attending the third classes of secondary schools (aged 13-14 yrs. old) in the territory of the Municipality of Palermo. Through the questionnaire, we have gathered data on consumer style, media style, style of leisure time use and specific indicators, on which the theoretical layout of the project has been built.

To the aim of this paper, we focus on the use of Internet and smartphone by the young adolescents. Internet technologies offer enormous potential for learning, and can therefore be an extremely important factor in reducing educational poverty.

The perspective with which we have analysed the relationship between young adolescents, Internet technologies and educational poverty is that of Rosamund Sutherland, whose research on the use of technology in the classroom on the one hand extolled the role of the teacher, demonstrating how digital technologies can improve learning processes when a good teacher joins the instrument used by the student (John, Robertson, Sutherland, 2008); at the same time, its focus on education as a tool of democracy has helped to analyse the relationship between technologies and schools from a social point of view, highlighting the risks of social injustice that arise from the digital divide (Sutherland, 2013).

Statistical analysis has been done in order to highlight significant differences of lifestyles in the 8 distinct districts of the town. Results of this qualitative research will be presented in the paper.
Educational poverty, educational technologies, digital divide, school, adolescents' lifestyles.