Digital equity in education: A Multilevel examination of differences in and relationships between computer access, computer use and state-level technology policies.

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Abstract

Using data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) state assessment and a survey of state-level technology policies, this study examined digital equity in education as a multilevel organizational phenomenon with data from 70,382 students in 3,479 schools and 40 states. Students in rural schools or schools with higher percentages of African American students were likely to have less access to computers. With respect to computer use, girls and students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch were more likely to use computers more frequently when computers are available in the classroom. With respect to relationships between computer access and computer use, having computers available in a lab increases the likelihood of higher levels of computer use. The results suggested that no more than 5% of the variance in computer access can be attributed to state factors, and less than 1% of the variance in computer use was between states. The findings suggested that where student technology standards are integrated into subject-area standards, computer use was likely lower than in other states. In states where pre-service teachers must meet technology-related requirements to receive their teaching credential and states where funds earmarked for technology are distributed as competitive grants, computer use was likely to be higher.

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How to Cite
Becker, J. D. . (2007). Digital equity in education: A Multilevel examination of differences in and relationships between computer access, computer use and state-level technology policies. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 15, 3. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v15n3.2007
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Author Biography

Jonathan D. Becker, Hofstra University

Jonathan Becker is an assistant professor in the Foundations, Leadership and Policy Studies Department of the School of Education and Allied Human Services at Hofstra University. Dr. Becker teaches courses in the politics of education, the social and legal contexts of education, and educational research methods. His research agenda includes continued study of digital equity in education, educational equity as a multilevel organizational phenomenon, and the intersection between educational leadership and educational technology. Dr. Becker is also the director of the doctoral program in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.