Publication details [#43]

Norton, Bonny and Carry-Jane Williams. 2012. Digital identities, student investments and eGranary as a placed resource. Language and Education 26 (4) : 315–329. 15 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher


This article reports a place-based study of digital literacy, undertaken in a rural Ugandan village. Six secondary students, working as library scholars, participated in the investigation, whose focus was on their uptake of eGranary (eGranary is an offline digital library, which can be attached to a PC or a local area network). The methodology combines Blommaert’s construct of scale (here, metaphors for time and space are used) with Norton’s construct of investment. The results show that both space and time were implicated in the diverse practices associated with eGranary, and their indexical meanings in the wider community. Further, the students’ identities shifted over time from trainee to tutor, and the use of eGranary enhanced what was socially imaginable to the library scholars. However, other students, who had no access to eGranary, engaged in practices of resistance, from disturbing the library scholars while they worked on the computer, to trying to destroy the computer. The authors conclude that while eGranary traveled well to Uganda, the limited local resources available in the community compromised its effectiveness, and may well limit the realization of students’ imagined identities for the future.