By Keith Hampton, professor in the Media and Information Department at Michigan State University. Posted Sep. 1, 2021
It’s no secret — students need the internet. But without reliable access and time to spend in digital environments, rural students are falling behind their urban counterparts. Keith Hampton, professor in the Media and Information Department at Michigan State University, sheds light on how this divide affects students and how it may run much deeper than accessibility, just in time for back to school.
How big is the digital divide between rural, suburban, and urban students?
The extent of the problem is largely unknown because no one keeps reliable statistics on what households do or do not have internet access. However, in a recent survey of students from 15 Michigan school districts, we found that only 53% of students who live in small-town or rural areas have broadband internet access compared to 77% of those who live in suburbs and 70% of those in cities.