The Digital Divide in Language and Literacy Education

Living reference work entry

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Part of the Encyclopedia of Language and Education book series (ELE)


The term “digital divide” is used to describe unequal access to digital technology and information. Simple binary constructions of access, whether of devices or the Internet, have evolved to cover more complicated and nuanced discussions of device density, Internet speed, and even relevant skills and social support. Current concerns about the digital divide no longer simply relate to access to a device or the Internet but rather to people’s ability to make use of the device and Internet to engage in meaningful social practices. As such, rather than being understood as a binary concept, in actuality, the “digital divide” is full of gradations and types of divides. With the rapid growth of the Internet as a medium for both economic and social transactions, being part of this network has become essential for inclusion and participation.


Digital divide Digital technology Access Social inclusion 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA

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