The Effects of Home Computers on Educational Outcomes: Evidence from a Field Experiment with Community College Students
The article presents findings of a field experiment where financially disadvantaged community college students received free home computers. The group’s educational performance was better than that of those in the control group that did not receive free computers, and the difference was statistically significant for minorities. The home computers also positively impacted graduation rates for minority students. The research indicates that access and equipment do not automatically lead to better learning outcomes for the non-minority student population. The authors posit that high levels of entertainment usage negatively impacted educational achievements. It appears that bridging the digital divide requires digital literacy skills in conjunction with access.