Socio-economic status and students' experiences of technologies: is there a digital divide?

Jo McKenzie*, Jenny Pizzica, Maree Gosper, Janne Malfroy, Kevin Ashford-Rowe

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    With the widening participation agenda in Australia, more students from low socio-economic backgrounds are being encouraged to undertake university degrees, and will be expected to use digital technologies and demonstrate digital literacies. This paper used data from a 2013 survey of students across three universities, to examine whether there were socio-economic differences in students' access to and use of technologies. There were few differences in access to equipment. There were also no differences in the most common uses of technologies, such as accessing course materials from the LMS, and few differences between students from low, medium and high socioeconomic status suburbs. However students who received government support benefits less frequently used technologies that related to disciplinary skills or to creating rather than receiving content. There may be a subtle digital divide, where financially disadvantaged students are engaging less with technologies that will most benefit their future employment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of ASCILITE 2014 - Annual Conference of the Australian Society for Computers in Tertiary Education
    EditorsBronwyn Hegarty, Jenny McDonald, Swee-Kin Loke
    Place of PublicationDunedin, New Zealand
    PublisherASCILITE
    Pages688-692
    Number of pages5
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    Event31st Annual Conference of the Australian Society for Computers in Tertiary Education, ASCILITE 2014 - Dunedin, New Zealand
    Duration: 23 Nov 201426 Nov 2014

    Other

    Other31st Annual Conference of the Australian Society for Computers in Tertiary Education, ASCILITE 2014
    CountryNew Zealand
    CityDunedin
    Period23/11/1426/11/14

    Keywords

    • students
    • technology access
    • learning technology use
    • socio-economic status

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