Bridging Digital Inequalities in Rural Schools in Germany: A Geographical Lottery?

Christina Rundel*, Koen Salemink

*Corresponding author for this work

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11 Citations (Scopus)
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Repeatedly, it has been argued that advancements in digitalisation could be beneficial for rural areas. However, digital inequalities persist and affect rural communities as well. Schools can play a key role in bridging digital inequalities, but little attention has been paid to the specific conditions rural schools find themselves in when facing continuous digital developments. Therefore, we apply the digital inclusion lens and explore the impact of digital developments on rural schools in the German context. In 2019, we conducted 16 in-depth interviews with heads and teachers from rural elementary and secondary schools in Baden-Wurttemberg and Lower Saxony. We found that smaller rural schools especially can experience difficulties and conclude that the contribution of schools to a digital-included society is subject to a geographical lottery. This could eventually increase existing rural–urban digital inequalities and these findings are also relevant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing a sudden switch to distance learning.
Original languageEnglish
Article number181
Number of pages18
JournalEducation Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 12-Apr-2021

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