Digital Inequality

research on skills, uses, and outcomes of Internet technology



From digital skills to tangible outcomes
Skils uses outcomes238x194

21st-century Digital Skills

Social Context of Digital Inequality



Van Deursen, A., Courtois, C. & Van Dijk, J. (2014). Internet Skills, Sources Of Support And Benefiting From Internet Use. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 30(4), 278-290.



This study added communication Internet skills to an existing skill framework of operational, formal, information, and strategic skills. The study investigated how people deal with inadequate skill levels by identifying support sources. Furthermore, we investigated which of the Internet skills actually matter for attaining beneficial Internet outcomes and whether support sources employed moderate these effects. Results of a large-scale survey revealed three support patterns: independents, social support seekers, and formal help seekers. The newly added communication skills prove to be an important addition because they have an independent effect on beneficial Internet use. The group of independent Internet users benefited more from Internet use than formal help seekers and much more than social support seekers. Internet communication skills hold the potential for achieving a high degree of independence in using the Internet by compensating for information skills so as to attain beneficial Internet outcomes.


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