August 29, 2010 Introduction



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The Digital Divide

Julie Heinz

Info 522

August 29, 2010

Introduction

The digital divide is an issue that needs to be addressed around the world. The digital divide is the gap between people who are able to access information digitally and those people who do not have the technology or access to digital information. This gap is caused by gender, race, location and means of accessing information digitally, education, economic status, nationality, and spoken language. While there has always been a gap between those who have and don’t have access to information, it wasn’t until the 1990s that this gap in digital information became an issue and the term digital divide was born.

Scope

The sources I have consulted have all been published between 2002 and 2010. I used sources that were written in English, although not all of the studies were completed in countries which are predominately English speaking. My sources are strictly from Library and Information Science databases and education related databases.



Review of Literature

The digital divide is influenced by many variables. Gender is a variable that plays a large role in this gap. Men receive more experience and are more comfortable with computers and accessing digital information than women. The digital divide leaves women less technologically inclined and apprehensive. Cooper (2006) looks at information gathered from studies completed in the past twenty years and the evidence that educational computer software is aimed towards boys. Furthermore his findings prove that girls exhibit anxiety and negative attitudes towards this same software. This anxiety towards computers starts in childhood but carries over into adulthood. Men are also introduced to computers and technology at an earlier age than females (Varma 2009). Men are usually introduced to computers at an earlier age, therefore they are more comfortable around computers and exhibit less anxiety towards them than females do who typically aren’t introduced to computers until middle school.

Education is another important variable in the digital divide. Many women felt that they had limited preparation in regards to learning how to use a computer for college level courses. A lower percentage of males felt that they weren’t adequately prepared in high school (Varma 2009). Tien and Fu’s research (2008) found that students with more knowledge of computers did better academically and that the more time students spent on academically-related computer usage the likelier they were to receive higher grades. Mouza (2008) found that the laptop students in her study considered the computers to be an important aid in their learning while the control students considered computers to be a tool for future employment. The laptop students also benefited by teaching other students and teachers in the building more about computers.

Schools must be able to provide the resources in order for students to become comfortable using computers and accessing the internet. A study done in Florida concluded that schools with a high socio-economic status fared better than schools with a low socio-economic status. High socio-economic status schools had more access, more usage, and more support (Hohlfeld, Ritzhaupt, Barron, & Kemker 2008). In addition, parents must be educated on the importance of technology. Another study using the same schools in Florida was done to see how parents were included in the information and communication technology. This study found that high socio-economic schools were more likely to have classroom websites and communicate with parents through email than low socio-economic schools (Hohlfeld, Ritzhaupt, & Barron 2010).

Availability of access is also a big variable in the digital divide. The group of people that is most effected by lack of access is one that is often forgotten about, the homeless. The homeless not only don’t have a personal computer and internet access, but they often have difficulty getting to places where access is available on public computers. A study of 25 homeless found that only 6 were able to gain access to the internet and public computers (Hersberger 2002/2003). Many of these people could benefit greatly from access to computers and the internet if given access and tutorials on usage simultaneously closing the gap in the digital divide.

Electronic resource librarians have the job of helping bridge the gap in the digital divide. They can do this by teaching people who are interested how to use computers and access digital information. By helping make the internet as accessible as possible and teaching people how to use it, electronic resource librarians are providing the resources to access government sites and employment information, thereby narrowing the gap (Plumb 2007).

Prieger and Hu (2008) found that race plays a part in the digital divide and broadband access. When looking at particular races, regardless of income level, they found that some races were less likely to have broadband access. One possible reason is that in the area studied Hispanic households were further away from the central office and the area of broadband access (Prieger & Hu 2008). Particular races might also place more or less value on the importance of the internet to get ahead or for entertainment purposes.

Similarly, language can also play a role in causing the gap in the digital divide. Immigrants who don’t speak English are more likely to be left behind by the digital divide because a majority of the internet is in the English language. Immigrants were less likely to own a computer than people native to the United States (Ono & Zavodny 2008). It was also found that immigrants were less likely than natives to use a computer or the internet if access were available at home. In addition to home use, immigrants were less likely to use computers in their work environment and less likely to access the internet in public locations (Ono & Zavodny 2008).

The United States is not the only country affected by the digital divide. This is a global issue and the gap is caused by the same variables despite location. A study done in Canada found that children in the household didn’t affect the likeliness of internet usage (Noce & McKeown 2008). However, age, gender, location, education, and income all played a large role in the Canadian digital divide. It is interesting though that the gaps aren’t divided in the same direction. In Canada, it was found that men are actually less likely to use the internet than women (Noce & McKeown 2008). Kim, Lee, & Menon (2009) look at politics and online voting in Korea. They have two groups of voters, those that are “digitally endowed” and those who aren’t. They are worried that “the digital divide can bring about a social choice that ‘harms’” because the less “digitally endowed” were not better informed thereby jeopardizing everyone in the long run (Kim, Lee & Menon, 2009, p 384).

Groups of people within certain populations are not the only groups divided by the gap in the digital divide. Countries can be divided by variables such as economics and availability, as well. Dragulanescu (2002) studies the digital divide between Central and Eastern European countries and other countries all over the world, between countries within Central and Eastern Europe, and lastly between the groups of people in various populations of each Central and Eastern European country.

Singh and Sahu (2008) have a solution to solving this worldwide problem of availability. They suggest making government information available on phones in addition to on the internet. The demand for mobile phones has increased greatly in recent years. Mobile phones are also cheaper than the internet and therefore can be distributed more equally among the economic classes making mobile government a possible solution in bridging the gap in the digital divide (Singh & Sahu 2008).
Bibliography

Cooper, J. (2006). The digital divide: the special case of gender. Journal of Computer Assisted



Learning, 22(5), 320-334. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2729.2006.00185.x
Abstract: This paper examines the evidence for the digital divide based on gender. An overview of research published in the last 20 years draws to the conclusion that females are at a disadvantage relative to men when learning about computers or learning other material with the aid of computer-assisted software. The evidence shows that the digital divide affects people of all ages and across international boundaries. We suggest that the digital divide is fundamentally a problem of computer anxiety whose roots are deep in socialization patterns of boys and girls and that interact with the stereotype of computers as toys for boys. A model of the digital divide is presented that examines gender stereotypes, attribution patterns, and stereotype threat as antecedents of computer anxiety. Computer anxiety in turn leads to differences in computer attitudes and computer performance. A number of suggestions are offered to reduce the impact of the digital divide.

Annotation: This article looks at various studies which all lead to the conclusion that women suffer more anxiety and perform worse than men when it comes to the use of computers. Graphs of the results from several studies are included. J Cooper is a voice of authority in the world of library and information science as this article has been cited more than a dozen times.

Database: ERIC

Method of Searching: Keyword

Search Strategy: I chose the ERIC database because of its access to education-related research articles. I wanted to find articles on how gender affects the digital divide so I chose a keyword approach with these two terms.

Search String: “digital divide” AND gender

Dragulanescu, N.-G. (2002). Social impact of the "digital divide" in a Central-Eastern European

country. International Information & Library Review, 34(2), 139-151. doi:10.1006/iilr.2002.0190


Abstract: The social impact of the “Digital Divide” in a Central–Eastern European country provides a comprehensive study of different “Digital Divides” existing between “emerging democracies” (or “emerging new market-oriented economies”) from Central and Eastern Europe, as well as between them and industrialized developed countries (Western Europe, USA, etc.). Former and actual influencing factors are analyzed and evaluated, basic facts and social impacts are presented, some solutions are issued. The United Nations' concerns and roles are emphasized.
Annotation: This article was written eight years ago so the statistics are not completely accurate anymore. The message, however, is still the same. The digital divide still exists between countries. Dragulanescu breaks the article up into convenient sections to manage the statistics.

Database: Library Literature and Information Science-Dialog File 438

Method of Searching: Keyword

Search Strategy: I chose the database Library Literature and Information Science because my topic, the Digital Divide, concerns access or lack thereof to information and can be affected by libraries’ abilities to provide access. I wanted to find articles about the digital divide that discussed research that had been done. After searching for the keywords digital divide and research I decided to try the keyword study in place of research.

Search String: s DIGITAL()DIVIDE

s study


s s1 AND s4

Hersberger, J. (2002/2003). Are the economically poor information poor? does the digital divide

affect the homeless and access to information? Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science, 27(3), 45-63.
Abstract: Homeless persons lack economic capital, but it is less clear whether they concomitantly lack important information capital. The basic information needed by the homeless is not available on the Internet as this is information controlled by governmental social services agencies, but does this result in a state of information poverty? This paper examines the issues of how the lack of access to information technology does not affect how the homeless access basic-needs-level information. The study investigates the information needs of the homeless, information sources, and information-seeking behaviours within the analytical constructs of information outsiders and insiders and the theory of information poverty posed by Chatman (1996). The study explores the differences in information seeking pursuits based on whether the catalyst for the search is internally or externally motivated. Finally, the paper speculates on whether making basic level needs information available via the Internet would be useful and/or used. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Annotation: Julie Hersberger is recognized as a scholarly author and is cited in other works. This article is unique in that it identifies and presents findings from an often forgotten group of people affected by the digital divide, the homeless. A weakness is that the study’s population consists of participants from only three different cities around the United States.

Database: Library Literature and Information Science-Dialog File 438

Method of Searching: Keyword

Search Strategy: I chose the database Library Literature and Information Science because my topic, the Digital Divide, concerns access or lack thereof to information and can be affected by libraries’ abilities to provide access. I wanted to find articles about the digital divide that discussed findings in relation to the digital divide with issues regarding access to information or the lack of access to information.

Search String: s DIGITAL()DIVIDE

s access


s s1 AND s6

Hohlfeld, T. N., Ritzhaupt, A. D., & Barron, A. E. (2010). Connecting schools, community, and

family with ICT: four-year trends related to school level and SES of public schools in Florida. Computers & Education, 55(1), 391-405. http://www.sciencedirect.com/scidirimg/clear.gifdoi:10.1016/j.compedu.2010.02.004

Abstract: Community and family involvement in schools is a well-documented antecedent to student success; yet, educators often find it challenging to increase involvement with parents and members of diverse communities. One solution is to use information and communication technology (ICT) as a bridge between schools, families, and the community. This research first presents a conceptual framework for uniting schools, families, and community members using ICT and then uses statewide data collected in Florida from the 2003-2004 to 2006-2007 school years to investigate significant trends in how schools communicate with, involve, and provide ICT access and education for community and family members. Results were analyzed at each school level, as well as by the differences between high and low socio-economic status (SES) schools. Findings indicate that during the study schools at every level and SES group significantly increased their contributions for ICT access and education of families and communities. However, high schools serving the most economically advantaged students provided the most ICT contributions to their families and communities. On the other hand, in support of bridging the digital divide, low SES elementary and middle schools provided significantly more contributions for ICT access and education of their community and parents, than their high SES counterparts. Recommendations and implications are provided. (Contains 13 tables and 6 figures.)

Annotation: The data collected for the study was gathered over a period of time from 2003 to 2007. This article cites an article that the authors co-published two years earlier, in 2008. Hohlfeld and her colleagues include tables representing their findings.

Database: ERIC

Method of Searching: Controlled Vocabulary

Search Strategy: I chose the ERIC database because of its access to education-related research articles. I had searched for the keyword digital divide already and wanted to see what other search terms were available on the subject so I decided to search the thesaurus for controlled vocabulary terms.

Search String: Search the Thesaurus for: digital divide

Use Term: Access to Computers; Disadvantaged

I chose Access to Computers

Hohlfeld, T. N., Ritzhaupt, A. D., Barron, A. E., & Kemker, K. (2008). Examining the digital

divide in k-12 public schools: four-year trends for supporting ICT literacy in Florida. Computers & Education, 51(4), 1648-1663. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2008.04.002 



Abstract: While there is evidence that access to computers in schools has increased, there remain questions about whether low socio-economic status (SES) schools provide students with equitable supports for achieving information communication technology (ICT) literacy. This research first presents a theoretical model to examine the digital divide within schools. Using this model, this research uses statewide data from four school years to investigate significant trends in ICT integration by school level and SES in Florida. Multilevel models for repeated measures analysis were used to compare models for predicting trends on nine different aspects of school technology integration. Results show statistically significant differences between high and low SES schools at every level in terms of student access to software, student use of software, teacher use of software, and the level of technology support. This research provides evidence of the existence of the digital divide among Florida's K-12 schools. (Contains 1 table and 11 figures.)

Annotation: This article is recognized as being scholarly and has been cited four times. The authors build on existing research regarding the different levels of the digital divide in schools. The study was conducted between the years 2003 and 2007. The response rate was extremely high, with over 95% of people submitting responses each year.

Database: ERIC

Method of Searching: Author Search

Search Strategy: I chose the ERIC database because of its access to education-related research articles. I had already found one article by Tina N Hohlfeld during my controlled vocabulary search and decided to see what other literature she had published.

Search String: Hohlfeld Tina N

Kim, E., Lee, B., & Menon, N. M. (2009). Social welfare implications of the digital divide.

Government Information Quarterly, 26(2), 377-386. doi:10.1016/j.giq.2008.11.004
Abstract: The Internet plays a critical role in informing individuals about society, politics, business, and the environment. So much so that it has been said that the digital divide makes the segment of society on the “right side” of the divide (the digitally endowed group) better off and that on the “wrong side” (the digitally challenged group) worse off. This is not always true, however, in a social choice situation where members of a society collectively choose one alternative from a set of alternatives. To identify conditions when this does not hold, a model of the digital divide is setup in which the digitally endowed group receives better information than the digitally challenged group. Preferences of all individuals over outcomes are distributed over a scale. This distribution is correlated with the digital divide: the outcome preferred by the digitally endowed group differs from that preferred by the other group. The alternative chosen by majority becomes the choice of the overall society. The ensuing analysis shows that individuals located centrally on the preference scale are sensitive to information about the state. The choice of centrally located digitally challenged individuals, made on a lack of information, makes the digitally challenged group worse off as has been predicted before. In some cases, the digitally endowed group is worse off as well. In the case of highly polar alternatives, social welfare decreases due to the welfare loss of the digitally endowed group. Results suggest that policymakers must manage the digital divide in a customized manner depending on the preferences context. They should not only focus on improving the welfare of the digitally challenged, but also focus on the welfare of the digitally endowed group so that this welfare does not decrease.
Annotation: This article is unique in that there are very few scholarly articles that have findings pertaining to the government and the digital divide. Kim, Lee, and Menon all hold PhDs. Lee is a professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. All three co-authors have studied information science. These qualifications all lend to the authority of the authors.

Database: ERIC

Method of Searching: Keyword

Search Strategy: I chose the ERIC database because of its access to education-related research articles. This was my initial search on ERIC so I chose to search for only one keyword.

Search String: “digital divide”
Mouza, C. (2008). Learning with laptops: implementation and outcomes in an urban, under-

privileged school. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 40(4), 447-472.



Abstract: This study examined the implementation and outcomes of a laptop program initiative in a predominantly low-income, minority school. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected, analyzed, and compared with students in non-laptop classrooms within the same school. Results of the study revealed that in the hands of well prepared teachers, laptops enabled disadvantaged students to engage in powerful learning experiences. Although quantitative data did not reveal significant differences in student attitudes towards computers and school between laptop and comparison students, qualitative data indicated that laptop integration created enhanced motivation and engagement with schoolwork, influenced classroom interactions, and empowered students. Such behaviors were not evident among comparison students. Furthermore, qualitative data indicated that the laptop program produced academic gains in writing and mathematics within the laptop group. Results of the study have implications for policy makers, researchers, and practitioners, especially those interested in bridging the digital divide in education. (Contains 14 footnotes and 4 figures.) Note:The following two links are not-applicable for text-based browsers or screen-reading software.

Annotation: Mouza is a recognized authority who has been published multiple times. Mouza completed her study over the course of a school year and collected all of the data herself. She included photos of ways the laptop students excelled in assignments enriched by the computers.

Database: ERIC

Method of Searching: Keyword

Search Strategy: I chose the ERIC database because of its access to education-related research articles. I wanted to find articles about studies that had been done regarding the digital divide so I did a keyword search with these two terms.

Search String: “digital divide” AND study

Noce, A. A., & McKeown, L. (2008). A new benchmark for internet use: a logistic modeling of

factors influencing internet use in Canada, 2005. Government Information Quarterly, 25(3), 462-476.


Abstract: Internet diffusion is not homogeneous and depends on many factors. This study uses data from the Canadian Internet Use Survey (CIUS) to explore the extent demographic variables affect Internet use by individuals in Canada. A logistic model confirms that certain factors, educational attainment, and geography in particular influence Internet use in Canada, controlling for age and income. Education maintains a strong, significant impact on Internet use such that the odds of using the Internet are about three times greater for someone who has some post-secondary education than someone who has, at most, a high school education. An urban-rural digital divide persists in Canada with the odds of using the Internet being almost one-and-a-half times greater for someone who lives in an urban area. While language also has a large effect on Internet use, the presence of children in households no longer seems to be a significant factor. This study thus underscores the changing digital environment in Canada and the need for adaptive, flexible policies addressing national connectivity issues and, in particular, broadband Internet availability.
Annotation: This study takes place in Canada with statistics from seven variables in 2005. The significance of the results are tested and noted. Noce and McKeown have been cited once.

Database: Library Literature and Information Science-Dialog File 438

Method of Searching: Keyword

Search Strategy: I chose the database Library Literature and Information Science because my topic, the Digital Divide, concerns access or lack thereof to information and can be affected by libraries’ abilities to provide access. I wanted to find articles about the digital divide that discussed research that had been done. After searching for the keywords digital divide and research I decided to try the keyword study in place of research.

Search String: s DIGITAL()DIVIDE

s study


s s1 AND s4

Ono, H., & Zavodny, M. (2008). Immigrants, English ability and the digital divide. Social

Forces, 86(4), 1455-1479.
Abstract: This study examines the extent and causes of inequalities in information technology ownership and use between natives and immigrants in the United States, with particular focus on the role of English ability. The results indicate that, during the period 1997-2003, immigrants were significantly less likely to have access to or use a computer and the Internet. Moreover, the gap in IT usage widened during that period. Immigrants and natives who live in Spanish-speaking households are less likely than individuals living in English-speaking households to have access to or use IT. Estimates using a measure of predicted English ability show that English ability is positively associated with IT access and use. The results suggest that much of the immigrant-native gap in IT usage is attributable to differences in English ability. (Contains 4 tables, 1 figure, and 13 notes.) Note:The following two links are not-applicable for text-based browsers or screen-reading software.
Annotation: Ono and Zavodny track immigrants’ computer access and usage drawing statistics five times between 1997 and 2003. This provides a look at how immigrants and natives differ in usage while still showing progress in accessibility usage among immigrants. Ono’s and Zavodny’s scholarly research has been cited in two other articles.

Database: ERIC

Method of Searching: Keyword

Search Strategy: I chose the ERIC database because of its access to education-related research articles. I wanted to find articles about studies that had been done regarding the digital divide so I did a keyword search with these two terms.

Search String: “digital divide” AND study

Plumb, T. K. (2007). Challenges and opportunities for electronic resources (ER) librarians in

facing down the digital divide. Collection Management, 32(3/4), 327-349. doi: 10.1300/J105v32n03_06

Abstract : The electronic resources (ER) librarian has a social responsibility to be knowledgeable about the digital divide. Discourse on the digital divide began in the mid-1990s and continues today. Data analysis reveals that divides still exist, particularly when considering income, education, region, disability, age, and race. Librarians face many challenges to take on the digital divide. These challenges include issues of access, content, technical literacy, privacy, civic participation, education, employment, non-use, and political debate. Yet for each challenge, there is an opportunity for the ER librarians to thrive while they face down the digital divide.


Annotation: This article is unique in that it addresses what electronic resource librarians can do to close the digital divide. The challenges and opportunities that these librarians face are discussed. A weakness of the article is that it does not list any statistical findings in regards to the challenges electronic resource librarians face.
Database: Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA)

Method of Searching: Keyword

Search Strategy: I chose LISTA because of its access to articles regarding libraries and information science. I wanted to find articles on how race affects the digital divide so I chose a keyword approach with these two terms.

Search String: Digital Divide AND race

Prieger, J. E., & Hu, W.-M. (2008). The broadband digital divide and the nexus of race,

competition, and quality. Information Economics and Policy, 20(2), 150-167. doi:10.1016/j.infoecopol.2008.01.001


Abstract : We examine the gap in broadband access to the Internet between minority groups and white households with geographically fine data on DSL subscription. In addition to income and demographics, we also examine quality of service and competition as components of the Digital Divide. The gaps in DSL demand for blacks and Hispanics do not disappear when income, education, and other demographic variables are accounted for. However, lack of competition is an important driver of the Digital Divide for blacks. Service quality is an important determinant of demand, and ignoring it masks the true size of the DSL gap for Hispanics.
Annotation: Prieger and Hu are well respected in the academic community. This is evident in that their article has been cited 9 times since 2008. They provide graphs on the growth of subscriber lines, home broadband access by race and ethnicity, a table containing census statistics from a population in 2000, and various maps. The methodology section contains formulas to use in computing statistics and the data tables containing the statistics obtained.

Database: Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA)

Method of Searching: Keyword

Search Strategy: I chose LISA because of the number of periodicals regarding libraries and information science it provides access to. I wanted to find articles on how race and the digital divide affect access to information so I chose a keyword approach with these three terms.

Search String: digital divide AND race AND access

Singh, A. K., & Sahu, R. (2008). Integrating internet, telephones, and call centers for delivering

better quality e-governance to all citizens. Government Information Quarterly, 25(3), 477-490.
Abstract: This article examines the present approach of providing e-government services through the Internet. Since the Internet is not accessible to most of the populations of the world, the article advocates adopting a multi-platform approach in which mobile and fixed line phones can be used to enhance the Internet in the delivery of e-government services. The article also suggests the concept of Government Call Centers to overcome the limitations posed by the digital divide. The study concludes that integration of the Internet, phones, and call centers can enable governments to deliver e-government to every citizen of a nation. Finally, the article makes specific recommendations to spread e-government services to more citizens through the approach suggested in this paper. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Annotation: This article is unique in that it addresses the issues of providing citizens with government information in the easiest, cheapest way possible. Singh and Sahu have been recognized as scholarly and cited two times.

Database: Library Literature and Information Science-Dialog File 438

Method of Searching: Keyword

Search Strategy: I chose the database Library Literature and Information Science because my topic, the Digital Divide, concerns access or lack thereof to information and can be affected by libraries’ abilities to provide access. I wanted to find articles about the digital divide that discussed research that had been done. After searching for the keywords digital divide and research I decided to try the keyword study in place of research.

Search String: s DIGITAL()DIVIDE

s study


s s1 AND s4

Tien, F. F., & Fu, T.-T. (2008). The correlates of the digital divide and their impact on college



student learning. Computers & Education, 50(1), 421-436. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2006.07.005
Abstract: By focusing on two dimensions of the digital divide--computer use and computer knowledge, this study explores four research questions: (1) What are the undergraduates doing with the computers they use at colleges? (2) How do undergraduates perform in regard to computer knowledge and skills? (3) With what is the digital divide among college students correlated? (4) What consequences does the digital divide have for student academic performance? In order to answer these research questions, a national survey was conducted. The survey investigated 3083 first-year college students of 12 4-year universities in Taiwan. A total of 2719 of them completed the questionnaires resulting in a response rate of 88.2%. In this study, the digital divide is measured in terms of computer use, which includes a variety of purposes for using computers and academic-related work as a proportion of total computer hours, and computer knowledge. Multiple regressions and a generalized ordered logit, i.e. a partial proportional odds model, are employed. The main findings include the following: (1) Undergraduates use computers not only for fulfilling their academic requirements and searching for information, but also for entertainment. On average, undergraduates spend about 19 h per week using computers, of which 5 h are academic-related. (2) Most undergraduates perform at the middle average level in terms of computer knowledge. (3) No significant differences among correlates in relating to demographic and socioeconomic family background were found in predicting the various purposes in using computers. (4) Students who are female, whose fathers and/or whose mothers are from minorities, whose fathers are blue-collar workers or unemployed, who study in the fields of the humanities and social sciences, and who enter private universities are at a disadvantage in terms of computer skills and knowledge. However, female students, students whose mothers were less educated and students who enroll in private universities are more focused computer users in terms of allocating time to academic-related work. (5) Computer knowledge and devotion to using computers for academic-related work have a moderate effect on college student learning, while the various other uses of computers do not. Of the different kinds of computer knowledge, it is the knowledge of software that helps students to learn the most. [This research was also partially supported by the Ministry of Education Program for Promoting Academic Excellence of Universities.] Note: The following two links are not-applicable for text-based browsers or screen-reading software.
Annotation: Tien and Fu are recognized as scholarly authors and have had this article cited eight times. The study is focused on students attending universities in Taiwan and their knowledge and use of computers. Tables containing the amount of time used and the reason for computer usage as well as the variables that might affect these two statistics are provided.

Database: ERIC

Method of Searching: Keyword

Search Strategy: I chose the ERIC database because of its access to education-related research articles. I wanted to find articles on how gender affects the digital divide so I chose a keyword approach with these two terms.

Search String: “digital divide” AND gender

Varma, R. (2009). Gender differences in factors influencing students towards computing.

Computer Science Education, 19(1), 37-49.
Abstract: This paper examines students' pre-college experience with computers. It finds significant gender differences in how students develop interest in computers; exposure to computers at home; availability of computers in high schools; and high-school preparations for college study in a computing field. The paper has a number of implications to improve the digital divide for women. It is based on 150 in-depth interviews of female and male undergraduate students, members of five major ethnic/racial groups (White, Afro-American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Native American) from seven institutions in the USA.
Annotation: Varma tests four hypotheses regarding males’ and females’ pre-college computer experience. The paper includes multiple data tables with the results of the study. His participants are taken from a variety of backgrounds with an equal number of male and female participants.

Database: ERIC

Method of Searching: Keyword

Search Strategy: I chose the ERIC database because of its access to education-related research articles. I wanted to find articles about studies that had been done regarding the digital divide so I did a keyword search with these two terms.

Search String: “digital divide” AND study

Conclusion



I had never created an annotated bibliography before this quarter. In fact I wasn’t even sure what purpose an annotated bibliography served or what was included. The annotated bibliography seemed like a daunting task at first but once I started I realized it wasn’t that hard. In the process of completing this project I have discovered several things. First, I am more confident in my searching strategies than I was half way through this quarter. I learned that it is extremely important to put an s in front of s1 AND s2 when combining two different searches. I think this was the source of my frustration while doing the Dialog homework assignments and once I figured this out I had a much easier time searching Dialog for articles for this assignment. I am also more confident in my ability to determine whether or not an article is scholarly. When I submitted my first four Dialog citations I didn’t think too much about it. They all looked scholarly. On second glance though, I discovered that they weren’t all necessarily scholarly and went back to do more searching. I came across articles in other databases as well that appeared to be scholarly when reading the title, only to find out that the article was actually a comment on a book review or another opinionated article. I found I was able to determine whether or not a source was scholarly in a number of ways; checking Ulrich’s International Periodicals Directory, selecting Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed articles as part of my search in the LISTA database, and searching only the peer-reviewed results in LISA. I also discovered that I was able to find information on whether or not a journal was scholarly when I went to access the full text article from that particular periodical on the Hagerty Library website. I have some more work to do before becoming an expert at annotated bibliographies. Although I feel I have a general understanding now, I realize I am going to need a lot of practice in order to write an abstract that could be included with a citation in a database. I have also discovered that while I feel I have a good start on critical evaluations for annotations I have room for improvement and perfecting this skill.


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