Inequality in ICT Access and its Influence on Media Competency

By Catalina González-Cabrera and Cecilia Ugalde.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Modern societies no longer focus their efforts only on the use of and access to ICT solutions, they now also study the dimensions and criteria required for a person to be considered media competent. Differences are visible in the degree of competence, usually depending on the level of technological access of said person. This research aims to identify whether inequality in the use of and access to ICT according to the variables: institutional funding and age influence the degree of media competence of students and faculty. Surveys were applied to high school students and teachers in Southern Ecuador By measuring the level of media competence through six dimensions, it was possible to observe that the level of students and the competence of their teachers did not vary significantly according to the type of school funding, be it private, public or co-financed, even though private and co-financed schools have greater access to ICT. The results on the students’ degree of media competence according to type of school funding lead us to assume that students in private schools are not taking advantage of the ease of access to ICT as they should. Much work needs to be done not only in the field of education or in the efforts to implement technological tools, it also entails working hard at increasing motivation to promote the effective use of ICT. This can be done by creating dialogue spaces that enable teachers, parents, and teens to learn the proper use of ICT and to enhance their social participation in an increasingly digitized world.

Keywords: Media Literacy, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), Media Competence, Digital Divide, Inequality

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 9, Issue 4, December 2016, pp.41-54. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 758.798KB).

Catalina González-Cabrera

Professor-researcher, School of Communication, Universidad del Azuay, Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador

Cecilia Ugalde

Professor-researcher, School of Communication, Universidad del Azuay, Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador