Digital divide and higher education (Doctoral thesis)

Κύργιος, Νικόλαος

CT integration in higher education, particularly the Internet use, has contributed substantially to the upgrading of its functions and services. Many international researches focus on these issues emerged from a new interdisciplinary scientific field, that of social informatics which examines the social implications of using new technologies and the internet for individuals and societies. The subject of this dissertation is the digital divide and how it is related to the Internet use in higher education for educational purposes.Even though Internet use is linked to innovation, promoting equal opportunities in teaching and learning, recent research shows that it reproduces social inequalities among students. Institutions and educational policy factors face with a double challenge. On the one hand, they try to manage to minorize digital divide in higher education as well as reduce inequalities in internet use among students with different social backgrounds. On the other hand, they have to manage to implement policies and find solutions to the problems that are caused by. Given the fact that a large body of international literature for digital divide have been developed worldwide but, at the same time, it has not been researched in Greek higher education, the aim of this research is to investigate whether there is a digital divide in the Internet use for educational purposes in Greek higher education.In other words, this research examines if there is a relationship between the internet use for studying and e-learning and the students socioeconomic background. Quantitative methodology is selected for carrying out the research. Data are collected by a questionnaire distributed to students asking for students' internet use skills, the frequency of internet use for educational purposes and their perceptions of e-learning.The results show that there is digital divide in Greek higher education regarding the Internet use for educational purposes. Taking this into account, the research comes to the conclusion than not all students benefit equally from ICT use. Students from low socioeconomic background are at a bigger disadvantage as though as they lack the skills, the technical and cultural capital in order to take the advantage of their studies.Bourdieu's cultural capital theory is a valuable tool in order to understand the digital divide in higher education and find out the deeper reasons that cause it as well as to come up with affective solutions. Coming up with digital divide is considered, nowadays, to be a necessity, as far as internet use is becoming more and more useful for educational, social and professional reasons. What is presupposed, systematic researches have to be done and explore the dimensions of digital divide shedding light into new policies and practices.
Alternative title / Subtitle: διερεύνηση της σχέσης ανάμεσα στα κοινωνικά χαρακτηριστικά των φοιτητών και της χρήσης του διαδικτύου για την αξιοποίηση των ηλεκτρονικών μαθημάτων
exploring the relationship between the social characteristics of students and the use of the internet for the use of e-course
Institution and School/Department of submitter: Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων. Σχολή Επιστημών Αγωγής. Παιδαγωγικό Τμήμα Νηπιαγωγών
Subject classification: Ανώτατη εκπαίδευση
Keywords: Ψηφιακό χάσμα,Ηλεκτρονικά μαθήματα,Ανώτατη εκπαίδευση,Ανισότητες,Digital divide,Online courses,Higher education,Inequalities
Appears in Collections:Διδακτορικές Διατριβές

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