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Do secondary students learn better with information technology at home and in school? Interrogating the data from Confucian Heritage Cultures
Cheng Yong Tan, Khe Foon Hew

Last modified: 2018-04-18


Schools and parents in many developed Asian societies have invested heavily in information technology (IT) in the endeavor to improve student achievement. However, the question as to whether IT helps students in their learning remains the subject of many investigations. The present study critically addressed this question by examining if secondary students who can access and use IT resources at home and in school have better mathematics achievement. It frames the discussion in the debate on digital divides. Data involving 38,157 students in seven Confucian heritage cultures (CHCs) who participated in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012 were analyzed. Results showed that home IT resources benefited student mathematics achievement (with access being more important than use) but school IT resources were not, and students with the overall least IT resources were most academically successful. These results indicate the importance of understanding the nuanced effects of digital divides in different contexts.