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ERIC Number: EJ734501
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-1743-9884
Exploring the "Digital Disconnect" between Net-Savvy Students and Their Schools
Selwyn, Neil
Learning, Media & Technology, v31 n1 p5-17 Mar 2006
Educational commentators have long feared a "digital disconnection" between emerging generations of technology-rich students accustomed to high levels of Internet use and their technology-poor schools. Yet few studies have empirically examined the existence and potential implications of such a disconnect from the students' perspective. The present paper replicates Levin and Arafeh's (2002) US study which solicited online stories from students detailing how they used the Internet for school. Responses from 84 UK secondary school students show that just over half felt restricted in their Internet use at school. Unlike the original US study, the primary disconnect between UK Internet-using students and their schools was not one of physical access but the restriction of their Internet use through school rules and content filters, firewalls and other technologies of control. Whilst some students displayed frustration and disenchantment, most gave measured and sometimes sympathetic views of their schools' less-than-perfect information technology provision. As such, many of our students were well aware of a digital disconnect but displayed a pragmatic acceptance rather than the outright alienation from school that some commentators would suggest. (Contains 1 note and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom