Exploring the digital divide: The use of digital tools in Ontario public schools

Governments around the world are investing to bridge the “digital divide,” which refers to the gap among populations in terms of ability to access digital tools and the Internet. This effort is especially evident in public schools, because education has been identified as one contributing factor of the divide. Thus, it is of great public interest to investigate whether schools are providing enough opportunities for youth to engage with ICT as an effort to bridge the digital divide. This proposed research seeks to develop a deeper understanding of ICT use in Ontario’s public schools. By combining new data from the People for Education annual school survey with Ontario’s EQAO data, this study will tackle important questions surrounding the use of digital tools in Ontario’s public school system. In particular, this study will investigate the pattern of computer use for students by socioeconomic variables. Results will be synthesized in the People for Education’s annual report to provide strategic suggestions to address the digital divide in Ontario public schools.

Bodong Chen
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Earl Woodruff