My current research interest examines the digital divide in an educational context. This research includes the social, cultural, and economic factors which led to the development of the digital divide, the present-day circumstances that allow the continuance of the digital divide, and the resulting impact. For decades, quantitative data has shown that the digital divide persists. While technology continues to evolve rapidly, the issues preventing the closure of the digital divide have remained the same. There are undeniable links between societal inequities, educational inequities, and the digital divide. Hermeneutic phenomenology is a qualitative methodology that brings the experiences of the impacted to the forefront and pairs well with the theoretical frameworks of equity theory, critical theory, and Critical Race Theory. The intent is to provide a new perspective of the digital divide and inspire further efforts that will lead to its closure.
Perceptions of Experiences with the Digital Divide
The digital divide is an inequity in access to technology or the skills and knowledge necessary to use technology for personal gain. In the context of this study, examples include: not having computers or technology in classrooms, not being able to take computer skills or computer science classes, only using technology for skill-and-drill, lack of user support, and more. Traditionally, students who are racial-ethnic minorities, rural residents, or attended poor or failing schools are most often impacted.
The purpose of this study is to gather the perceptions of students who have been impacted by the digital divide. To accomplish this, I will be conducting interviews by email, video chat, or in person with each participant.
To participate, you must have attended primary or secondary school in the U.S., be 18 years or older, be a first-year college student, and have been impacted by the digital divide. If you are selected and complete the interview, you will receive a $10 Amazon gift card. Additionally, please review the consent form you will be required to sign prior to your interview.
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