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 International Journal of Education and Development using ICT > Vol. 1, No. 2 (2005) open journal systems 


Access to ICTs for teaching and learning: From single artefact to inter-related resources

Laura Czerniewicz, Centre for Educational Technology, University of Cape Town
Cheryl Brown, Centre for Educational Technology, University of Cape Town


Abstract
In the past few years, concepts of the digital divide and theories of access to ICT have evolved beyond a focus on the separation of the 'haves' and the 'have nots' to include more than just physical access to computers. Researchers have started considering the conditions or criteria for access and broadened the concept by including additional components. Terms such as 'real access', 'thick conceptions of access' and 'social inclusion' give some indication as to the change in thinking about access to ICT. These broader views of access are particularly applicable in the Higher Education context. However, in examining the applicability of the existing theories of ICT access, we found that no single model fully encompassed that range of resources required for access to ICTs in Higher Education in South Africa. We therefore combined, simplified and enhanced the existing models to develop a comprehensive framework for ICT access. Our model of access describes what people use, need and draw on in order to gain or acquire access to specific ICT uses and practices in terms of different kinds of resources namely technology resources; resources for personal agency; contextual resources; and online content resources. The applicability of this model has been tested in a survey of academic staff and students in Higher Education Institutions in the Western Cape, South Africa. The aim of this research is to explore access to and use of ICT and how they may support or hinder a range of educational technology practices.


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International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology. ISSN: 1814-0556