The University of Arizona

Gender, school and class wise differences in level of Digital literacy among secondary school students in Pakistan

Salma Jan


The survey was conducted to assess the level of digital literacy among private secondary school students in Pakistan. A total of 344 students of grade 9 and 10 from three private schools were involved in this study. The descriptive statistics, Mann-Whitney U test and Kruskal- Wallis test are used to analyze digital literacy. The study revealed that majority of students possesses adequate level of digital literacy; students demonstrated high level of skills in mobile usage and showed low level of skills in preventing computer from viruses. Moreover, the analysis showed insignificant difference in terms of the students’ digital literacy between male and female and between grade 9 and 10. However, significant difference is found in terms of digital literacy between the schools. Findings indicate students’ proficiency in digital literacy and points to the importance of developing strategies at policy and school level to help students exploit technological resources in a purposeful, safe and meaningful way.



Digital literacy, secondary level students, gender, class and school

Full Text:



Aviram, R. & Eshet-Alkalai, Y. (2006). Towards a theory of digital literacy: three scenarios for

the next steps. European Journal of Open Distance E-Learning, 9(1), 1-11. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from

Ba, H., Tally, W., & Tsikalas, K. (2002). Investigating children's emerging digital literacies.

The Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment, 1(4), 4–47. Retrieved September 29, 2017 from

Berge, O., Hatlevik, O. E., Klovstad, V., Ottestad, G., Skaug, J. H. (2009). ITU Monitor

Oslo: Network for IT Research and Competence in Education. Retrieved May 16, 2017 from

Brindley, S. (2000). ‘ICT and Literacy’, In: N. Gamble & N. Easingwold (Eds.) Information and

Communications Technology, Media, Reading and Writing, London, Continuum

Bryman, A. (2004). Social research methods (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Eshet-Alkalai, Y. (2004). Digital Literacy: A conceptual framework for survival skills in the

digital era. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia 13(1), 93-106. Retrieved November 4, 2016 from

Eshet-Alkalai, Y., & Hamburger, A.Y. (2004). Experiments in digital literacy. Cyber

Psychology & Behavior, 7(4), 421-429. Retrieved November 21, 2016 from

Gilster, P. (1997). Digital literacy. New York: Wiley.

Government of Pakistan (2000). National Curriculum: Computer Science Classes IX-X,

Islamabad, Ministry of Education (Curriculum Wing)

Government of Pakistan (1998-2010). The Pakistan National Education Policy,

Islamabad, Ministry of Education (Curriculum Wing)

Hargittai, E. (2005). Survey measures of web-oriented digital literacy. Social Science Computer

Review, 23(3), 371-379. doi: 10.1177/0894439305275911

Hargittai, E. (2010). Digital na(t)ives? Variation in internet skills and uses among members of

the “net generation”. Sociological Inquiry, 80 (1), 92-113. Retrieved May 20, 2017 from

Hatlevik, O. E., & Christophersen, K. A. (2013). Digital competence at the beginning of upper

secondary school: Identifying factors explaining digital inclusion. Computers & Education, 63, 240-247. doi:

Ilomäki, L., Kantosalo, A., & Lakkala, M. (2011). What is digital competence? Linked portal

Brussels: European School net (EUN), 1–11. Retrieved September 12, 2016 from

Katz, I. (2007). Testing information literacy in digital environments: ETS’s iSkills

Assessment. Information Technology and Libraries. 26 (3), 3- 10. Retrieved September 8, 2016 from

Lee, S., Kim, J., & Lee, W.(2015). Analysis of elementary students’ ICT literacy

and their self-evaluation according to their residential environments. Indian Journal of Science and Technology, 8(1), 81-88. doi: 10.17485/ijst/2015/v8iS1/57595

Loveless, A., Taylor, T. & Millwood, R. (2001). Creative Uses of Digital Technology:

Developing Visual Literacy And ICT Capability. In J. Price, D. Willis, N. Davis & J. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2001--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 2376-2380). Norfolk, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved May 3, 2017 from

Nusche, D, Earl, L, Maxwell, W. & Shewbridge, C. (2011). OECD Reviews of Evaluation and

Assessment in Education, Norway. Retrieved Nov 13, 2016 from

OECD (2011). PISA 2009 Results: Digital Technologies and Performance (Volume VI).

Retrieved September 4, 2016 from

Shuel, T. J. & Farber, S. L. (2001). Students’ perceptions of technology use in college courses.

Journal of Educational Computing Research, 24(2), 119-138.

Teck, S.H. and Y.L. Lai (2011). An empirical analysis of Malaysian pre-university students' ICT

competency gender differences. International Journal of Network Mobile Technology, 2, 15-29.

Umar, I. N., & Jalil, N. A. (2012). ICT skills, practices and barriers of its use among secondary

school students. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 46, 5672 – 5676. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.06.494

UNESCO (2016). Global Education Monitoring Report. Retrieved May 23, 2017from

UNISEF (2011). Policy brief. Digital literacy in education. Retrieved November 11, 2016 from

Varank, I. (2007). Effectiveness of quantitative skills, qualitative skills, and gender in

determining computer skills and attitude: A causal analysis, clearing house. A Journal of Educational Strategies,81(2),71-80. doi:

Wilhelm, J. D. (ED.) (2010). Technology in our schools: A call for a cost/benefit analysis.

Voices from the Middle, 17(3), 44-46. Retrieved July 16, 2017 from

Young, J. A. (2015). Assessing new media literacies in social work education: The

development and validation of a comprehensive assessment instrument. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 33(1), 72-86, doi: 10.1080/15228835.2014.998577

Zhong, Z. (2011). From access to usage: The divide of self-reported digital skills among

adolescents. Computers and Education, 56(3), 736-746.doi: