Identifying the Cognitive and Digital Gap in Educational Institutions Using a Technology Characterization Software

Identifying the Cognitive and Digital Gap in Educational Institutions Using a Technology Characterization Software

Alexandra María Silva Monsalve, Duvan Andrés Garzón Garzón
DOI: 10.4018/IJVPLE.330130
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This research aims to identify the existing technological and cognitive gaps in educational institutions through the implementation of characterization software. To meet this objective, the study establishes a framework of digital competencies to validate the level of performance using the input of educational community members, which allows for establishing a diagnosis regarding the use and appropriation of technological resources. The study utilized an applied research methodology based on a validation approach using the technological acceptance method. The findings reveal educational institutions' lack of knowledge in identifying and appropriating technological resources. The research concludes that recognizing technology and technological resources can lead to the improvement of educational processes. It also provides a framework for researchers to present proposals that allow them to recognize technology's mediating role in the teaching-learning process.
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This article presents the aspects giving rise to the problem of limited access to technology in remote areas, which gave rise to the present investigation. The research aimed to address these difficulties through technological mediation. Therefore, the following question shaped the scope and approach to the research: In what way can technology contribute to the improvement of digital connectivity and be a facilitating medium in the teaching and learning process?

The paper also presents the literature supporting the study. These reports show the digital divide in Latin America regarding access to digital connectivity, use of platforms, and infrastructure. Several aspects of this divide became more evident with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, as discussed below.

The so-called digital transformation—a consequence of the fourth industrial revolution—has integrated various disciplines, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, 3D printing, the Internet of Things, and autonomous vehicles (Florez et al., 2019). Despite this extensive technological development, the absence of digital connectivity in the 21st century is still evident in some regions of the world (Compaine, 2001). According to the internet connectivity map, approximately 60% of the world’s population enjoys a digital connection. Regions such as North America, Western Europe, China, and some areas of South America have the greatest access, while Africa and Asia have the least access to the network (El Orden Mundial, 2021). However, studies by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) show that in Latin America, only 66.7% of the population has internet access (ECLAC, 2020). Similarly, the 2019 Latin American Telecommunications Congress (CLT19) revealed that despite technological advances in recent years, the internet has not reached everyone. Table 1 shows internet coverage in Latin America expressed in usage numbers and penetration levels.

Table 1.
Internet coverage in Latin America
South AmericaPopulation% Pop.Internet Usage% Population% Users
(2022 Est.)TableJune 2022(Penetration)Table
Falkland Islands3,6530.0%3,698.5%0.0%
French Guiana311,7880.1%162,852.2%0.0%
Total South America437,156,844100.0%368,960,19784.4%100.0%

Source: Internet World Stats (2022)

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