Habilidades Digitales

Differences in Actual and Perceived Online Skills: The Role of Gender

Eszter Hargittai & Steven Shafer (2006)


Publicación: Social Science Quarterly



Objective: The literature on gender and technology use finds that women and men differ significantly in their attitudes toward their technological abilities. Concurrently, existing work on science and math abilities of students suggests that such perceived differences do not always translate into actual disparities. We examine the yet-neglected area concerning gender differences with respect to Internet-use ability. In particular, we test how self-perceived abilities are related to actual abilities and how these may differ by gender.

Methods: We use new data on web-use skill to test empirically whether there are differences in men's and women's abilities to navigate online content. We draw on a diverse sample of adult Internet users to investigate the questions raised.

Results: Findings suggest that men and women do not differ greatly in their online abilities. However, we find that women's self-assessed skill is significantly lower than that of men.

Conclusions: Women's lower self-assessment regarding their web-use skills may affect significantly the extent of their online behavior and the types of uses to which they put the medium. We discuss the implications of these findings for social inequality.

¿Están los adultos en Chile preparados para desenvolverse en contextos digitales? Evidencia de PIAAC

Jimena Negrón y Rafael Varela (2017)


Publicación: MIDevidencias - Centro UC Mide


Abstract: En la actualidad, la capacidad de desenvolverse en contextos informáticos se vuelve cada vez más crítica, tanto para el ejercicio laboral como para la inserción social en diversos trámites y servicios que se proveen a través de medios digitales. La capacidad de resolver problemas en este contexto es central para el adecuado ejercicio de la habilidad digital de los adultos, y tiene un impacto importante en la economía del siglo XXI. En este escenario, la OCDE lideró el estudio internacional PIAAC, que evalúa esta habilidad en adultos de 16 a 65 años a través del uso de computador, y cuyos resultados se presentan en esta edición de MIDevidencias. Estos señalan una importante brecha entre Chile y el promedio de los países de la OCDE, tanto a nivel general, de género y de grupos etarios, incluso en las cohortes más jóvenes del país, quienes logran un desempeño similar a los grupos de mayor edad de la OCDE. Para revertir la tendencia anterior, se discuten algunas de las iniciativas de política pública impulsadas en Chile y su potencial impacto para mejorar esta habilidad, además se señalan consideraciones, a partir de los resultados presentados, que se deberían tener en cuenta para su implementación.

Old Dogs, New Clicks: Digital Inequality in Skills and Uses among Older Adults

Eszter Hargittai & Kerry Dobransky (2017)


Publicación: Canadian Journal of Communication



Research on digital inequality tends to collapse people above a certain age into one “older

adults” category, seemingly assuming that this is one homogeneous group when it comes to internet uses. Drawing on national survey data of adults in the United States, this article

examines the online skills and behaviour of this group. Findings reveal diversity among older adults in internet skills and uses. Those with higher education and higher income have higher-level Web-use skills. While those of higher socioeconomic status are also more likely to use the internet for diverse types of activities from which they may benefit, once controlling for skills, these differences are less pronounced.

The relation between 21st-century skills and digital skills: A systematic literature review

Ester van Laar,  Alexander J.A.M. van Deursen, Jan A.G.M. van Dijk & Jos de Haan (2017)


Publicación: Computers in Human Behavior


Abstract: Innovation starts with people, making the human capital within the workforce decisive. In a fast-changing knowledge economy, 21st-century digital skills drive organizations' competitiveness and innovation capacity. Although such skills are seen as crucial, the digital aspect integrated with 21st-century skills is not yet sufficiently defined. The main objectives of this study were to (1) examine the relation between 21st-century skills and digital skills; and (2) provide a framework of 21st-century digital skills with conceptual dimensions and key operational components aimed at the knowledge worker. A systematic literature review was conducted to synthesize the relevant academic literature concerned with 21st-century digital skills. In total, 1592 different articles were screened from which 75 articles met the predefined inclusion criteria. The results show that 21st-century skills are broader than digital skills – the list of mentioned skills is far more extensive. In addition, in contrast to digital skills, 21st-century skills are not necessarily underpinned by ICT. Furthermore, we identified seven core skills: technical, information management, communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving. Five contextual skills were also identified: ethical awareness, cultural awareness, flexibility, self-direction and lifelong learning.

Development and validation of the Internet Skills Scale (ISS)

Alexander J.A.M. van Deursen, Ellen J. Helsper & Rebecca Eynon (2014)


Publicación: Information, Communication & Society


Abstract: Although a number of instruments have been used to measure Internet skills in nationally representative surveys, there are several challenges with the measures available: incompleteness and over-simplification, conceptual ambiguity, and the use of self-reports. Here, we aim to overcome these challenges by developing a set of reliable measures for use in research, practice, and policy evaluations based on a strong conceptual framework. To achieve this goal, we carried out a literature review of skills-related studies to develop the initial Internet skills framework and associated instrument. After the development of this instrument, we used a three-fold approach to test the validity and reliability of the latent skill constructs and the corresponding items. The first step consisted of cognitive interviews held in both the UK and the Netherlands. Based on the cognitive interview results, we made several amendments to the proposed skill items to improve clarity. The second step consisted of a pilot survey of digital skills, both in the UK and in the Netherlands. During the final step, we examined the consistency of the five Internet skill scales and their characteristics when measured in a representative sample survey of Dutch Internet users. The result is a theoretical, empirically and cross-nationally consistent instrument consisting of five types of Internet skills: operational, navigation information, social, creative, and mobile.

Digital literacy and safety skills

N. Sonck, Sonia Livingstone, E. Kuiper and J. de Haan (2011)


Publicación: EU Kids Online


Abstract: Summary Children’s digital skills were assessed by asking 25,000 European 9-16 year old internet users about their online activities, skills and self-efficacy.

The range of digital skills and online activities are linked. But many younger (11-13 year old) children lack key critical and safety skills. Also, skills are unequally distributed by socio-economic status. Developing safety skills may encourage other skills, and more skills are associated with more activities online. So, teaching children to be safer need not curtail and may even encourage online opportunities.

The digital skills paradox: how do digitally excluded youth develop skills to use the internet?

Rebecca Eynon & Anne Geniets (2014)


Publicación: Learning, Media and Technology




Digital skills are an important aspect of ensuring that all young people are digitally included. Yet, there tends to be an assumption in popular discourse that young people can simply learn these skills by themselves. While experience of technologies forms an important part of the learning process, other resources (i.e., access to technology and support networks) plus clear motivations are required. Through in-depth interviews with 20 young people who are digitally excluded, this paper highlights the kinds of digital skills these young people find problematic, and the reasons why they find developing these skills so challenging. We demonstrate how poor access to technology, limited support networks and their current situation prevent these young people from gaining the experiences they need to support the development of their digital skills; and how lack of experience and inadequate skills limit the extent to which they perceive the internet to be valuable in their lives. These individual experiences, shaped very much by the wider social structure of which they are part, show how young people cannot simply be left to learn digital skills by themselves and that intervention is required to try to address some of the digital inequalities apparent in younger generations.

Internet skill levels increase, but gaps widen: a longitudinal cross-sectional analysis (2010–2013) among the Dutch population

Alexander J.A.M. van Deursen & Jan A.G.M. van Dijk (2014)


Publicación: Information, Communication & Society



Abstract: In the current contribution, we investigated how (1) the levels of operational, formal, information, and strategic internet skills changed between 2010 and 2013, and how (2) the observed skill patterns differ across gender, age, and education. All internet skills are measured among representative samples of the Dutch population in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Cross-sectional data are repeated to consider patterns of change at the aggregate level. The levels of operational and formal internet skills increased most. Information internet skill remained more or less consistent, and strategic internet skills only revealed a very small increase. Policies related to internet skills are largely aimed at improving basic skills among specific target groups. Future policies should shift towards improving information and strategic skills, which will be a more difficult challenge. Gender, age, and educational background are all important variables related to skill inequalities. As age increases, internet skill levels decrease. Information internet skills only increased for people aged over 65 years between 2010 and 2013. It seems that the gain in operational and formal internet skills among older people results in a better performance on information internet skills. The higher educated, the higher the levels of all four internet skills. The skills gap between the higher educated, on the one hand, and lower and middle educated, on the other hand, increased, while the gap between low and middle educated decreased. We expect that a particular share of inequality concerning information and strategic internet skills will remain and that these inequalities are long lasting.

Digital Skills: Unlocking the Information Society (LIBRO)

Jan A. G. M. van Dijk and & Alexander J. A. M. van Deursen (2014)



Acerca del libro:

The first book to systematically discuss the skills and literacies needed to use digital media, particularly the Internet, van Dijk and van Deursen's clear and accessible work distinguishes digital skills, analyzes their roles and prevalence, and offers solutions from individual, educational, sociological, and policy perspectives.

Digital skills of internet natives: Different forms of digital literacy in a random sample of northern Italian high school students

Marco Gui & Gianluca Argentin (2011)


Publicación: New Media & Society



This article outlines the main results and methodological challenges of a large-scale survey on actual digital skills. A test covering three main dimensions of digital literacy (theoretical, operational and evaluation skills) was administered to a random sample of 65 third-year high school classes, producing data on 980 students. Items include knowledge questions, situation-based questions and tasks to be performed online. A Rasch-type model was used to score the results. In agreement with the literature, the sample performed better in operational skills, while showing a particularly poor performance regarding evaluation skills (although for this dimension the test shows reliability issues). Through a robust regression analysis we investigate if a skills divide based on ascriptive differences, gender and family cultural background, exists among the students. It emerges that cultural background has a significant effect, which is stronger on operational skills, while gender shows a more definite impact on theoretical knowledge.

Measuring users’ internet skills: A review of past assessments and a look toward the future

Eden Litt (2013)


Publicación: New Media & Society


Abstract: As the abilities to navigate and communicate using the internet increasingly play an important role in our social and professional lives, scholars must stay attuned to what

such internet skills entail and how everyday users differ when it comes to such abilities.

This article reviews the last decade of literature on measurements of everyday users’ basic internet skills, organizing how scholars have defined and measured the construct, and then systematically presenting what these past assessments tell us about internet skills and their relationship to other factors. Building on this foundation, the review concludes with a research agenda to advance this line of work, including a call for more valid and nuanced measures that capture the added layers of sophistication and sociability needed for today’s internet use.