The Digital Divide

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How Schools Are Schools Dealing With The Digital Divide?

School districts nationwide have canceled classes for at least part of the academic year in light of the coronavirus pandemic

Student access to Digital Learning Resources Outside of the Classroom

Per the report, produced by the IES’ National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which performed an analysis on the educational impact of access to Digital Learning Resources (DLR outside of the classroom

The “Digital Divide” is any uneven distribution in the access to, use of, or impact of Information and Communication Technologies for Digital Learning Resources (DLR).  Below are excerpts from the report:

Digital Learning Resources

As defined in ESSA (2015), the term “digital learning” refers to “any instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen a student’s learning experience and encompasses a wide spectrum of tools and practices” (p. 1969). This includes:

(a) interactive learning resources, digital learning content (which may include openly licensed content), software, or simulations, that engage students in academic content;

(b) access to online databases and other primary source documents; (c) the use of data and information to personalize learning and provide targeted supplementary instruction; (d) online and computer-based assessments;

(e) learning environments that allow for rich collaboration and communication, which may include student collaboration with content experts and peers;

(f) hybrid or blended learning, which occurs under direct instructor supervision at a school or other location away from home and, at least in part, through online delivery of instruction with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace; and (g) access to online course opportunities for students in rural or remote areas. (p. 1969)

As described above, a variety of technological tools and practices can fall under the category of “digital learning resources.” For the purpose of this report, DLR refers to computers (i.e., laptops, desktops, and notebooks), mobile devices (i.e., smart phones and tablets), and broadband internet.1 This report assumes that students primarily engage in digital learning through these resources.

Student Use of Digital Learning Resources Outside of the Classroom

  1. Location and Means of Internet Access
  2. Computer Use at Home and for Schoolwork
  3. Home Computer and Internet Access Across States and Countries
  4. Barriers in Student Access to Digital Learning Resources Outside of the Classroom
  5. Student Internet Access by Locale, Race/Ethnicity, and Poverty
  6. Challenges Faced by Students Who Lack Access to Digital Learning Resources Outside of the Classroom
  7. Comparisons of Academic Scores by Computer Use and Internet Access at Home
  8. Impact of Access to Digital Learning Resources Outside of the Classroom on Instructional Practices of Educators