The role of education in adoption and usage of technology


Education and education level are recognised as impacting technology adoption. If we follow Rogers' cycle of technology diffusion, early adopters are often found to be highly educated people. This is why the surveys on mobile phone users dating back from the years 2008 or 2009 for instance report smartphones users as having a high level of education. But with the expansion of the technology this is no longer the case in a lot of countries and few differences in possession rates are found (Lane & Manner 2010). For the USA the Pew Research Centre reports for social media an adoption rate of 76% for those with college or graduate degrees, 70% of those with some college education and 54 % for those who have a high school diploma or less (this share has increased tenfold since 2005) (Perrin 2015). Nevertheless, differences in skills and usages still remain. Users with a high education level are often found to have more skills than others (Hargittai 2010) and their use of social media may vary. Twitter users were reported to be proportionally more educated than the rest of online population (Blank, op. cit) and than Facebook users (Pew Research Center 2011). Statistically significant correlations were found between followed accounts on Twitter and education level (Culotta et al. 2015). Moreover, Stokes and Senkbeil reported for instance that "generally, Facebook usage before the tornado was inversely proportional to education level, with the exception of those with an associate's degree" (Stokes & Senkbeil 2016). Education in school influence technology adoption, not only depending on equipment rates in schools (Wastiau et al. 2013), but also on teachers perception of technology usefulness for educating purposes, which was found to be cultural (Perrotta 2013). Parenting has also an impact on technology uses as parents may try to educate their children so that they, according to their parents, make suitable use of such technologies, as mentioned in the Indonesian Muslim case in section of the original source document.

Note: See source document for full reference.

Applicable to:

Cultural Factors: Socio-economic status

Disaster Phases: Recovery, Response, Preparedness, Prevention, All disaster phases

Types of Actors Concerned: Non-active citizens