Digital divide in ICT literacy among teachers in South Texas school districts




Bannerjee, Pragati

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The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has profoundly impacted and transformed how schools operate, teach, and learn. Those without access to new technologies are cut off from the huge dividends that ICT provides, commonly referred to as the digital divide. The digital divide is a complex and layered phenomenon, which extends beyond issues of physical access. Digital learning tools are inaccessible and underutilized by students from low-income families in South Texas and beyond. The digital literacy skills of teachers play a key role in preparing students, particularly those without sufficient access to ICT, for meaningful participation in complex digital spaces. The purpose of this quantitative, non-experimental, predictive study was to examine the digital disparity at the second level among public school K-12 teachers in South Texas by evaluating their instructional ICT literacy based on their foundational internet skills and usage types. Using van Dijk’s causal and sequential model of access to ICT (2005) as the basis, this study focused on analyzing the digital divide among teachers along the lines of school socioeconomic status. This analysis was based on teachers' ICT access (motivational, physical, skills, and usage) and digital skills (namely operational, informational, and strategic). The research adds to the existing literature on the digital divide as well as strengthening the positional category from van Dijk's model in the field of education. The study employed two survey questionnaires—the 14-item Teachers' Literacy and Skills acquired in ICT (used to measure digital literacy skills) and the 19-item Internet Usage Types (used to measure internet skills and usage types). A multiple linear regression was performed to identify if internet usage and school socioeconomic status predicted teachers' instructional digital literacy. The results of this study contribute to a better understanding of teachers' digital self-efficacy, perceived computer skills, and perceived instructional technology literacy skills in ICT, particularly for those teaching in economically disadvantaged schools. The findings from the study will help South Texas school districts and campus leaders in planning for ICT integration, staff training, and support for school technology infrastructure.


A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership.


digital divide, digital skills, ICT access, ICT literacy, school, teaching



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