THE DIGITAL DIVIDE AMONG UNIVERSITY FRESHMEN

 

ABSTRACT

Use of new technologies in university training is an ongoing reality today. However, the inequalities that exist among university students are the source of an important problem. Such inequalities need to be detected and analyzed and therefore a study of college freshmen can be very valuable. This qualitative study intends to analyze the digital divide of such freshmen by using techno-autobiographies, i.e.; the studentsí account of their situation. A total of 91 such students from the University of Vigo, Spain, participated in this research. Results obtained show the presence of asymmetries in the use of ICTs and indicate the presence of a digital divide. Such inequalities with respect to technology imply fewer ICT resources for some of these newcomers and difficulties to access the Internet. Worth highlighting is the fact that not all university freshmen use digital technology in a standardized manner for academic purposes but they nevertheless use such technology more frequently for private purposes.