Digital Inclusion in Chile: Internet in Rural Schools
Abstract: The digital divide has been a subject of permanent concern for search and policy. The central concern is related to how distinct sectors of society can be included by having access to the opportunities offered by ICT and the Internet. Research has used dichotomies and one-dimensional definitions of the digital divide. This study uses a wider definition, analyzing socio-cultural characteristics of rural Chilean schools, access to communication and Internet connection, and the expectations generated by Internet in these communities. This paper presents data obtained from interviews and surveys in rural schools. The study shows that connectivity in these schools is established in context of poverty and poor learning results. However, people in rural contexts have high expectations concerning information access, educational improvement, equity and symbolic integration. The study conclude identifying relevant challenges necessary to move forward towards the real inclusion of the country’s rural population into the digital society.
Presider: Francis Feng, University of British Columbia