Levels of computer use and access, at home, by years 9 and 10 pupils: an initial comparison of the types of computer used in the home and school environments
conference contributionposted on 10.03.2006, 11:26 authored by Nigel Zanker
Recent surveys have consistently reported that over fifty percent of secondary school pupils either own, or have access to, computers at home and that more boys than girls are home computer users. It has also been suggested that there is a link between the use of computers at home and school because there is a similarity between the types of computer found in the two environments. From Government statistics and data from a survey of over two thousand Year 9 and 10 pupils, attending seven schools, this paper questions the validity and reliability of these findings. The confusion between the concepts of ownership and access is discussed, through a consideration of the different cases, arising from the possible owner/user combinations. The use of sequences of questions to obtain accurate responses, for determining ownership and access to different categories of computers, used by pupils at home, is explored. A model is proposed for categorising home computers in relation to their fitness for purpose, ie educational, entertainment, edutainment. The model is then used as the basis for comparing the levels of access to the categories of computer used by pupils in the home and school environments.
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