Confronting the Digital Divide: Debunking Brave New World Discourses

Jennifer M K Rowsell, Donna Alvermann, Ernest Morrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)
453 Downloads (Pure)


There is far more to the digital divide than meets the eye. In this article, the authors consolidate existing research on the digital divide to offer some tangible ways for educators to bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots, or the cans and cannots. Drawing on Aldous Huxley's notion of a “brave new world,” some digital divide approaches and frameworks require debunking and are strongly associated with first-world nations that fail to account for the differential access to technologies that people who live in poverty have. Taking a closer look at current realities, the authors send out a call to teachers, administrators, and researchers to think more seriously and consequentially about the effect the widespread adoption of technologies has had on younger generations and the role of the digital on knowledge creation and on imagined futures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-165
Number of pages9
JournalReading Teacher
Issue number2
Early online date20 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2017


  • Digital/media literacies
  • Language learners
  • Motivation/engagement
  • Policy
  • Prior knowledge < Comprehension
  • Text features
  • text structure < Comprehension
  • Critical analysis < Digital/media literacies
  • New literacies < Digital/media literacies
  • Popular culture < Digital/media literacies
  • Specific media (hypertext, Internet, film, music, etc.) < Digital/media literacies
  • Community‐based programs
  • resources < Family literacy
  • Socioeconomic factors < Family literacy
  • Choice preference < Motivation/engagement
  • Self‐efficacy < Motivation/engagement
  • Advocacy < Policy
  • Accountability < Policy
  • Legislation mandates < Policy
  • At‐risk factors < Struggling learners
  • Achievement gap < Struggling learners
  • Self‐perception
  • self‐concept < Struggling learners
  • Socioeconomic < Theoretical perspectives
  • 2‐Childhood
  • 3‐Early adolescence
  • 4‐Adolescence


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