Digital Literacy: Pew Research Releases “Digital Readiness Gap” Report
From Pew Research:
Americans fall along a spectrum of preparedness when it comes to using tech tools to pursue learning online, and many are not eager or ready to take the plunge.
In this report, we use newly released Pew Research Center survey findings to address a related issue: digital readiness. The new analysis explores the attitudes and behaviors that underpin people’s preparedness and comfort in using digital tools for learning as we measured it in a survey about people’s activities for personal learning.
Specifically, we assess American adults according to five main factors: their confidence in using computers, their facility with getting new technology to work, their use of digital tools for learning, their ability to determine the trustworthiness of online information, and their familiarity with contemporary “education tech” terms. It is important to note that the findings here just cover people’s learning activities in digital spaces and do not address the full range of important things that people can do online or their “readiness” to perform them.
Another way to understand digital readiness and its connection to use of tech tools in learning is to simply compare measures of digital readiness to the likelihood people use digital tools to pursue personal learning. This section does that by looking at:
1) Whether people used the internet in the course of their personal learning in the previous 12 months. Overall, 52% of personal learners (or 38% of all adults) had used the internet as a tool in learning activities they pursued for their own interests.
2) Whether people had taken an online course of any sort in the past 12 months. Some 16% of all adults had done this.
The report is organized into the following sections:
- 1. The meaning of digital readiness
- 2. The spectrum of digital readiness for e-learning
- 3. Greater digital readiness translates to higher level of use of technology in learning
- Appendix: Detail on digital readiness and other metrics across groups
From the Methodology:
The analysis in this report is based on a Pew Research Center survey conducted from Oct. 13 to Nov. 15, 2015, among a national sample of 2,752 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Fully 963 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 1,789 were interviewed on a cellphone, including 1,059 who had no landline telephone.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.