By concentrating on cases of family engagement with information communication technologies at a very local level, this paper tries to illustrate that issues related to 'access' and social disadvantage require extremely sophisticated and textured accounts of the multiple ways in which interrelated critical elements and various social, economic and cultural dimensions of disadvantage come into play in different contexts. Indeed, to draw a simple dichotomy between the technology haves and have-nots in local settings is not particularly generative. It may be the case that, even when people from disadvantaged backgrounds manage to gain access to technology, they remain relatively disadvantaged.
The academic study of educational technology is often characterised by critics as methodologically limited. In order to test this assumption, the present paper reports on data collected from a survey of 462 "research active" academic researchers working in the broad areas of educational technology and educational media. The paper explores their familiarity and expertise with various methods of data collection and analysis. Data from the survey highlight a preference for relatively basic forms of descriptive research, coupled with a lack of capacity in advanced quantitative data collection and analysis. The paper concludes with some directions for "methodological capacity building" to broaden the use of methods in educational technology research.