Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Limited access to computing devices and Internet connectivity among low SES students creates a digital divide, as students lose precious time to acquire and practice 21st century skills between the classroom and home. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine teachers' perceptions on how poverty influences students' 21st century skills and learning experiences. Six high school teachers participated in semi-structured interviews about their perceptions of low SES students' JCT skills in comparison to their peers, and how their learning experiences differ within the classroom. The findings and conclusions of this study revealed that teachers perceive low SES students to have lower JCT skills than their peers, that they tend to struggle with basic typing and computer organization skills, and that there may be a strong connection between low reading ability and poor computer skills. There was also a perceived overlap of students with poor computer skills and students who have IEPs or 504 plans. The correlation between low SES status and computer skills deficiency and learning in the classroom provides teachers with valuable information about what is being taught within 1:1 schools, and what 21st century skill interventions students need, especially those who are unable to take devices home, and for those who are living in poverty. This study serves to identify several areas for future focus in the teaching of technology-related skills, including the use of additional computer classes for all students in lower elementary classes, and the use of ICT skill intervention classes in lower elementary classes for low SES students. This provides them opportunities to learn and grow in their 21st century skills (Richardson, Nash, & Flora, 2014; Grant, 2009; Sarfo, 2010).

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Karla Krueger


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (48 pages)



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