Education in the digital age uses new intelligent technologies as enabling and daily tools at the service of learning. Education has always been a challenge and today it is even more so since, given the many difficulties of the moment, to support the school in the time of Covid-19 it is necessary to implement rapid and timely changes that require, in addition to high investments, also new ways of sharing knowledge. Only by acting in this direction is it possible to make a virtue of necessity and transform the many critical issues, due to the pandemic causes, into strategic opportunities. The spread of Covid-19 has forced 80% of students around the world to not go to school and stay at home, leaving many of them isolated and without adequate educational support. Schools of all levels have been forced to review and reorganize their educational offer by implementing solutions developed by the digital technology systems available on the market. (Hammond, 2014; Pérez Sanagustín et al., 2017; Selwyn, 2015). All this has raised a real problem, namely that the possible division is no longer divided between those who have access to the network and those who do not, but between those who know and those who do not know these new digital tools to support knowledge. In relation to the adaptation to the new educational context, the technological gap is making room, both from the point of view of possession of the instrumentation, and from the point of view of the knowledge and skills associated with it. Having their own personal devices, an adequate connection in the home environment and digital skills that allow them to be able to use and produce learning content is not always simple and immediate. According to the Statistical Institute, in 2019 one in three families in southern Italy does not have access to a personal computer or tablet, and 27.8% of the population lives in overcrowded homes, which makes it difficult for many students to keep up with school and training activities. Thus in recent times the original concept of "digital divide", as a gap of opportunities between those who have and those who do not have digital skills, has evolved into the more complex notion of digital inequality (Di Maggio et al., 2004; Van Dijk, 2005; Bentivegna, 2009). Digital inequality is becoming an increasingly discussed phenomenon also within universities all over the world, not only as a term to highlight the divide between the possible accessibility to digital equipment or not, but also as a dividing line for what concerns the '' acquisition of digital skills, more or less accessible to everyone, but at different times. The world of universities reacted immediately by focusing fully on the digitization of academic paths. There have been and are many difficulties to face, but it is necessary to overcome them in order to allow equal access to the digital education system. A new challenge arises that of guaranteeing the right to education regardless of the user's starting digital skills. Based on these premises, the idea of this work is developed which investigates, after a careful analysis of the impact of digital systems on the education system how the emergence of the "digital divide" impact on training within universities. To verify the "digital divide", the work proposes a quantitative survey carried out thanks to the administration of a questionnaire to a sample of students. The sample subject of our survey is represented by students from the University of Calabria who, starting from March 2019, have been engaged in providing online teaching. The purpose of the work is primarily to investigate the perception and satisfaction of students with respect to new forms of digital learning and with respect to the tools put in place that have ensured the restart of the university through e-learning platforms. Subsequently, the work intends to understand if the aid put in place especially in favor of the weaker groups have been used and if used if they have been effective and have prevented anyone from falling behind. Based on the data collected, we hope that the "digital divide" has not represented an obstacle to student training, but rather has helped to overcome this difficult moment by representing an opportunity to test the university's new way of digital learning.
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|Titolo:||The digital divide in the world of education at the time of Covid-19|
|Data di pubblicazione:||Being printed|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)|