Digital Divide in China and Taiwan: Case Study
Abstract: During the past years, we often heard or read statements such as, “Technology advancement has been shortening distance among people and changing how we live and learn”. Does such a statement indeed apply to all learners on the globe? Do all learners on the globe have the technologies needed for successful learning? Our research aimed to evaluate the technology use of underrepresented students for learning and to draw professionals’ attention to digital divide issues and ethical issues in technology use. To examine the issues, we employed quantitative and qualitative research methods. Data was collected from students in two locations: Hualien County, Taiwan, and Yunnan Province, China. The two locations were selected for this study because they shared similar characteristics: being in remote mountainous areas and consisting of a large number of aborigines/minorities. Research data was collected from a total of 82 underrepresented students from Yunnan Province and 42 underrepresented students from Taiwan. The research results indicated the inequality of technology use in the underrepresented areas in China and Taiwan. The participants in this research had low technology-device-owning rates and limited basic technology skills. In addition, the results indicated that the underrepresented students had low self-efficacy of technology due to the constraints of technologies provided to them by schools and at home.