Access to information technology of households and secondary school students in Turkey
The aim of the study was to investigate secondary school students' and teachers' access to information technologies in Turkey by making interregional comparisons. Document analysis of the qualitative research methods was employed to analyze the reports issued by the Turkish Ministry of National Education, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The results of the research revealed the importance of access to information and communication technologies for both students and teachers: 67.9% of the participating students were found to have Internet connection and 69.1% a computer in their homes, while 80.3% of the students were observed to use a computer outside the school, but 19.7% were not. The results also showed that 64.6% of the students have Internet connection in their classrooms, but 29.2% of these students do not use the Internet in the classroom, whereas 8.9% use it in the classroom all the time. The rate of students using a digital device for reading is 38.1%, while that of those not using one is 61.9%. Some 32.1% of secondary school students were revealed not to have Internet connection at home. Additionally, 77% of teachers were not trained in online teaching prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the findings, teachers can be suggested to develop projects - i.e., of TUBITAK, E-twinning, and Erasmus - which potentially encourage students to use information and communication technologies so that both teachers and students can benefit from them. It is also suggested that the Ministry of National Education should work on improving the information communication technology competencies of teachers and students. Besides, policies should be developed to eliminate regional differences in terms of access to digital resources and technology in terms of equal opportunities and opportunities.