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Uses of Information and Communication Technologies in Europe's Higher Education Institutions: From Digital Divides to Digital Trajectories

Adel Ben Youssef and Ludovic Ragni ()

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Abstract: ABSTRACT This paper has two objectives, firstly, to identify the three basic levels of educational digital divides and to discuss them in the context of the European Union, and secondly, to develop an alternative hypothesis for educational digital trajectories instead of looking at educational divides.Section one identifies the three levels of digital divides. The first level of educational digital divide concerns differences in ICT equipment. We identify the sources and the mechanisms that help to bridge this divide (Market Dynamics and Public Policies). Then, focussing on the second level of digital divide (usages divide) we analyse why this seems to be the main problem nowadays in Europe. Finally, a third level of digital divide concerns the performance of ICT in education. We give some possible explanations for the productivity paradox which is observed in European higher education.Section two is devoted to the explanation of the diversity of usage of ICT between countries and universities. ICT allows different contextualisation and adaptation to the local context. Universities are developing several digital trajectories and instead of benchmarking universities we look at the explanations for this diversity. Two key elements were explored here: competition strategy of universities and students' attitudes towards the technologies.

Keywords: digital divide; e-learning; information and communication technologies; learning process; productivity paradox; skill based technological change (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008-04-24
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Published in RUSC: Universities and Knowledge Society Journal, Fundació Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, 2008, 5 (1), pp.72-84. 〈10.7238/rusc.v5i1.327〉

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DOI: 10.7238/rusc.v5i1.327

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