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The Myth about the Digital Divide


EDUCAUSE Review Volume 41, Number 4, ISSN 1527-6619


Although computer ownership is not 100 percent, progress has been made on closing the digital divide. However, defining the digital divide according to the haves and have-nots of computer ownership is only a starting point. Beyond computer ownership, colleges and universities should explore the "second-level digital divide," which can be caused by several factors: machine vintage; connectivity; online skills; autonomy and freedom of access; and computer-use support. In this article, the authors examine the truth behind the current status of the digital divide. They also observe that in thinking about the digital divide, college and university leaders should ask themselves the following strategic questions: (1) Do they know whether students have a computer? Do they know their skill level?; (2) Do they look beyond who has Internet access to consider online skills?; (3) Do they limit the definition of digital divide to a "haves" and "have-nots" dichotomy?; and (4) How limiting will inadequate online skills be to students?


Hawkins, B.L. & Oblinge, D.G. (2006). The Myth about the Digital Divide. EDUCAUSE Review, 41(4), 12-13. Retrieved November 19, 2019 from .

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