ERIC Number: EJ745835
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
The Myth about the Digital Divide
Hawkins, Brian L.; Oblinge, Diana G.
EDUCAUSE Review, v41 n4 p12-13 Jul-Aug 2006
Although computer ownership is not 100 percent, progress has been made on closing the digital divide. However, defining the digital divide according to the haves and have-nots of computer ownership is only a starting point. Beyond computer ownership, colleges and universities should explore the "second-level digital divide," which can be caused by several factors: machine vintage; connectivity; online skills; autonomy and freedom of access; and computer-use support. In this article, the authors examine the truth behind the current status of the digital divide. They also observe that in thinking about the digital divide, college and university leaders should ask themselves the following strategic questions: (1) Do they know whether students have a computer? Do they know their skill level?; (2) Do they look beyond who has Internet access to consider online skills?; (3) Do they limit the definition of digital divide to a "haves" and "have-nots" dichotomy?; and (4) How limiting will inadequate online skills be to students?
Descriptors: Computer Literacy, Access to Computers, Higher Education, Internet, Computer Uses in Education, Information Literacy, Etiology, Economically Disadvantaged, Guidelines, Concept Formation, Users (Information), Use Studies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States