Connection brokers: How educators work within and between social networks to cultivate community digital resilience to support children with disabilities using the Internet

Simon P. Hammond, Jeanette D'Arcy, Gianfranco Polizzi

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For children with disabilities, being online can have great benefits, and being part of a well-connected community pays dividends. Research has focused on the development of digital resilience at an individual level but the ways in which
surrounding networks of community support impact this is underexplored. Drawing on digital resilience as a socio-ecological concept and undertaking a thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with educators, this article addresses this gap by exploring how educators work within and between community networks to support children with disabilities online. Findings suggest that educators are key connection brokers who activate and provide access to a variety of assets and manage pools of resources to build digital resilience at a community level as well as for the individual. We note, however, that addressing structural holes to allow information to flow beyond the community level is challenging and requires continued investment to cultivate greater capacity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Media and Society
Early online date23 Mar 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Mar 2023

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