“Equal access does imply equal opportunities,” says the report of the OCDE. According to a recent study, the differences in access to the Internet defines the levels of access to opportunities. In countries like Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Switzerland, more than 98% of disadvantaged young people have Internet access at home. In some low- and middle-income countries (Turkey, Mexico, Chile and Costa Rica) only 45% of disadvantaged young people have Internet access and that is mainly at school.
However, if the lack of equality is a problem, a bigger challenge is what the users do with that access. Actually, in a comparison to countries where the access is practically the same, disadvantaged students are less likely to be aware of the opportunities that digital technology offers. According to the research of the OCDE, “They may not have the knowledge or skills required to turn online opportunities into real opportunities.”
The data for the study was gathered as part of the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a worldwide study of 15-year-old students’ performance in mathematics, science and reading.
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