A Cross-National Comparison of Students’ Daily Life Experiences with Information and Communication Technologies, Using Pisa 2009

Josef (Kuo-Hsun) Ma, University of Connecticut
Todd Vachon, University of Connecticut

The rapid development in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has drawn scholars’ attention to a new social problem—the digital divide. There has been little work examining the link between national contexts and students’ experiences with ICTs. Using data from PISA 2009, I utilize hierarchical linear modeling to examine how institutional variables at the country-level are associated with students’ digital usage across 40 countries. I use Cook’s distance to diagnose the influence of data points from the cluster level. Three institutional factors are examined: economic development, income inequality, and educational expenditure. Results are twofold: (1) The digital divide between socially-advantaged versus socially-disadvantaged students is wider for countries with lower income, higher inequality, and lower educational expenditure. (2) The effects of institutional characteristics on digital usage only matter for low SES students, but not for their high SES counterparts. This research helps scholars identify key national contexts that influence digital inequality.

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Presented in Poster Session 9: Children and Youth; Data and Methods