The digital divide and Higher Education

Kerry Russo, Lynne Eagle, Nick Emtage, David Low

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


    An analysis of the magnitude and impact of the digital divide is the foundation of this presentation. The digital divide is changing from one of accessibility to one of a knowledge gap generated by differing levels of digital competencies (Wang, Myers, Sundaram, 2013). Real concern is being raised that while digital technologies are becoming increasingly accessible, a new digital divide is emerging (White, 2013), (Bartlett Miller, 2012), (Resnick, 2002). The divide has broadened to influence social relationships, communities, education and the meaningful way we use information technology and communication (Broadbent Papadopoulos, 2013; Peña-López, 2010; van Dijk, 2006; Warschauer, 2004; Wei Hindman, 2011). Within the complex array of elements that is the digital divide, tertiary institutions continue to grapple with leveling the playing field particularly with students who are the first in their family to study at tertiary level and those who are from low socio economic backgrounds (Ann Luzeckyj, King, Scutter, Brinkworth, 2011; Johnston, Lee, Shah, Shields, Spinks, 2014; O'Shea, 2015). Many university students are neither prepared nor proficient at navigating the digital environment and lack the technical skills to effectively participate in online and blended educational programs (Burck, 2005; Manca Ranieri, 2013). The lack of meaningful interaction with the digital environment is creating inequality within our society (Haycock, 2004). This presentation intends to develop a critical consciousness regarding the impact of digital learning environments and discuss if a new hurdle has emerged to student retention and success in higher education.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Event2016 39th Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Annual International Conference: the shape of higher education - Freemantle, WA, Australia
    Duration: 4 Jul 20167 Jul 2017


    Conference2016 39th Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Annual International Conference
    CityFreemantle, WA


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