HomeInternational Journal of Education Research for Higher Learningvol. 23 no. 2 (2017)

Living with the Digital Divide: Exploring Internet and Computer Technology (Ict) Accessibility and Digital Inequality Through the Experiences of Educators & Students

Monique Tagaytay | Mara Panganiban | Yvon Jayson



This phenomenological study aimed to look into how educators and students negotiate lack of access to digital computer technologies in a school in Tacunan District, Davao City, Philippines. By using in-depth interviews and focus group discussion, the study found that the lack of ability to manipulate computers and navigate the internet as well as having no access to internet technologies caused difficulty among students in their learning, making them feel inadequate compared to those who had internet access. The study also found that for teachers instead of adding and enriching learning, the use of digital computer technology became a source of anxiety among learners. The lack of funding of the school for computer units and computer laboratory also added to the struggle of the educators and students. In order to deal with the Digital Divide that is evident in their school, the teachers would utilize their own money to buy portable Internet devices, buy credits for these devices and even lend their own personal laptops to students in order for them to have “hands on” experience with computers and the Internet. Students shared that they would have to travel long distances in order to be able to use the Internet when these facilities should have been available in their school so that they could learn how to use them for course work and in their future professions. The students added that they feel they are inferior as compared to students in private schools who are well provided with computer and Internet facilities. The study’s findings bear significant implications to education and learning as well as policy formation for educational institutions in the public sector in order to address the presence of the Digital Divide.