This paper formulates a definition of digital divide in the context of developing countries such as India and develops theoretical models that relate potential antecedents to adoption and use of rural information centers by direct users, mediated users, and nonusers. It develops a survey instrument for the direct-user model and tests it with 60, 11- and 12-year-old students in rural and semirural schools, who have been using the centers for computer-based learning alongside traditional learning for more than a year. Results show that perceived usefulness of the computer-based system, prior information technology experience, and empathy of the human assistant are positively associated with the students’ preference of computer-based learning. The follow-up stages of this research consist of a longitudinal study of the three models with larger samples of students and other members of the rural populace. This is planned as a cohort study which will investigate the change in antecedents of intention to use the centers as individuals progress from nonuser to mediated user and then to direct user and the resultant implications.
Venkataraju, Sibi; Kankanhalli, Atreyi; and Raman, Krishnamurthy, "Building the Digital Bridge: A Longitudinal Study of Community Learning Centers" (2003). ICIS 2003 Proceedings. 82.