Concepts, Assessments, Subversions
Digital Inequality in Primary and Secondary Education: Findings from a Systematic Literature Review
Ulli Samuelsson & Tobias Olsson
During the last couple of decades there has been a global interest in unequal access to and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Without a clear state of its actual origin, the concept digital divide started to appear frequently in the public debate in the mid-1990s in efforts to describe and analyse disparities in ICT access. Since the mid-2000s increasing numbers of scholars have changed their research interest from a dichotomous view of digital divides – you either have or have not access – to more qualitative and contextualized notions such as digital inclusion or exclusion. This systematic literature review offers an overview of this latter, more qualitative and contextualized turn of research. It does so by looking into a specific area of research, namely research concerning digital inclusion and exclusion in the context of primary and secondary education. The literature review maps what studies have been conducted and what empirical evidence is currently available regarding digital inequality among children in primary and secondary school contexts. The review makes obvious that digital inequalities exist in several developed countries among pupils in primary and secondary education. Inequalities can most often be related to socioeconomic status, gender and ethnicity. As a conclusion, this means that any ambition to increase digital equality among young people has to struggle against well-known societal structures.
During the last couple of decades there has been global interest in unequal access to and use of information and...
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