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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/20413

  • Title is in Icelandic From digital divide to digital opportunities? A critical perspective on the digital divide in South African schools
  • Abstract is in Icelandic

    The global disparity of ICT, the inequality in ICT skills and disparate access to the knowledge society are well documented (James, 2003; Jensen, 2003; Norris, 2001; van Binsbergen, 2004; van Dijk, 2005; Warschauer, 2003b; Wilson, 2004). This disparity relates to the digital divide and to how access and use of ICT are unequally distributed. What is less apparent is how policy reforms, including emphasis on ICT implementation, influence
    disadvantaged learners and their opportunities to use ICT in a school context. Can comprehensive implementation of computers in schools give disadvantaged learners greater digital opportunities and increase their deprived opportunities outside of school? This study applies a critical perspective on the digital divide in South African classrooms and investigates how increased access to computers may, simultaneously, increase the
    opportunities of previously disadvantaged learners and exacerbate existing social divides.
    The study began with a pilot project in 2006 in two schools in Cape Town (see paper I Gudmundsdottir & Brock-Utne, 2010). Two classes participated in the pilot study. One of them was a typical township class where all the learners were black. The other one was a class with mainly white children in an affluent neighbourhood in Cape Town. The pilot project confirmed earlier research and revealed huge inequalities in the use of ICT, as well as different understandings of and attitudes towards ICT. Furthermore, paper II (Gudmundsdottir & Jakobsdottir, 2009) compares ICT use in schools in South Africa and Iceland and paper III and IV (Gudmundsdottir, 2010a, 2010b) are comparative accounts of four schools in Cape Town, South Africa. The focus is on the concept digital divide and on how the participating learners are using ICT within and between learner groups in and across these four schools.
    This introduction (Part I) to the papers (Part II) is presented as follows: it places the study within the tradition of Comparative and International Education (CIE); it introduces
    the research questions and aims; and it presents a brief overview of the research context. After the contextual discussion, a chapter on the concept digital divide will follow. Chapter 3 will introduce key concepts as well as the theoretical approach and the underlying paradigm of the study while Chapter 4 explains the design and other ethodological issues such as the sample, validity, and data analysis. Furthermore, it will point out issues in need for further research and the limitations of this study. Finally, Chapter 5 provides a short summary and discussion of the main content and findings of the papers. It connects the papers to the concept of change and explores the contribution of this study to the research field.

  • Description is in Icelandic Dissertation submitted for the degree of Ph.D. Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo
  • Jan 22, 2015
  • http://hdl.handle.net/1946/20413

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