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Literacy and Digital Technologies: Linkages and Outcomes

April 20, 200620 April 2006

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This report examines the link between the use of digital technologies and the literacy scores of Canadian adults. The study finds that “people who do not have access to computers … have significantly lower literacy skills than computer users”. In addition, “people who used computers, and had higher literacy rates, were far more likely to have higher incomes”.

The report concludes that “people with the lowest skills, who potentially stand to benefit most from the opportunities created by new technologies, are not using them”. In particular, the potential benefits of the internet include “access to health and government services, employment information, shopping and other services”.

The report also finds that heavy computer use is most common in North America: “Canadian and American adults were twice as likely as adults in other countries studied to use computers at home for an average of two hours per day or more”.

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