Examining the Digital Divide between Rural and Urban Schools: Technology Availability, Teachers’ Integration Level and Students’ Perception

Pei-Yu Wang


This study aimed to explore the gap regarding technology integration between urban and rural schools based on theWill Skill Tool model. This study was guided by three main questions: 1) Is there any significant difference in termsof technology availability between rural and urban elementary schools?; 2) Is there any significant difference interms of teachers’ attitudes, competence, levels and experiences in technology integration between rural and urbanelementary schools?; 3) Is there any significant difference in terms of students’ attitudes, competence andexperiences in technology integration between rural and urban elementary schools? This was a survey study with 275teachers and 293 students as participants in southern Taiwan. Half of the participants came from regular urbanschools and the other half were from disadvantaged rural schools. T-tests and Chi-Square tests were done to examinedifferences. The results showed that there was a significant difference in technology availability between rural andurban schools, including the number of interactive whiteboards, desktops in labs, notebooks, netbooks, and tabletcomputers. There was also a difference in teacher overall high-tech integration level between rural and urban schools.Urban teachers reached the level of “familiarity and confidence” but rural teachers only stayed at the level of“understanding and application of the process.” Teachers’ experience, purpose and difficulty in technologyintegration between rural and urban schools were also slightly different. In addition, there was a difference instudents’ experience and preference in using technology to learn, especially using interactive whiteboards in learning.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jct.v2n2p127


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