THE DIGITAL DIVIDE IN THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IN BULGARIA
Published: 13 Oct 2019
Abstract: The digital divide existed ever since technology and Internet became common and massively used. Originally, the term “digital divide” was considered a gap between those who had access to technology and those who did not. However, with technology becoming cheaper, more affordable and available, the divide is more related to the gap between those who have the skills to use it productively, and those who only have the skills to use technology for ‘lifestyle’ and social purposes. When it comes to education, the digital divide in Bulgaria is vast in many ways – between teachers’ outdated skills and students’ by default generational competencies, and between the major cities access to technology and countryside regions lack of such. This paper aims to analyze the numerous aspects of the problem of digital divide in the Bulgarian educational system, and to provide solutions based on the European Commission’s policies, recommendations and guidelines, as well as using best practices examples of other European countries which have successfully overcome the gap. Investing in the digital infrastructure, skills and education within the educational system in Bulgaria, but in particular in the digital skills of teachers and others involved in the educational process, is a way to guarantee not only bridging this crucial digital divide, but also securing generational gaps, sociological barriers, stronger educational system, and thus, logical development of the educational system.
Keywords: education, digital divide, educational system, bulgarian education
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