After reviewing Tapscotts material, our team was interested in investigating some of his claims. We felt that two categories in particular merited further research.
We were primarily concerned with whether or not these fairly radical assertions were true. In order to quantify their validity, we created a survey designed to focus on these areas.
Surveys were administered to students at two separate Public schoolsWoodland Middle School in Kenton Co., Kentucky and Covedale Elementary in Hamilton Co., Ohio. 148 surveys were returned with an approximately equal male to female ratio (49% to 51%). Students, ages 9-15, were surveyed in an attempt to quantify the questions and concerns that were mentioned above. A copy of the survey is available for download
The following is a synopsis of our intentions for each question.
Computers were used extensively in every category but Job. Computers were most often used at home (85%) with school (69%) and library (67%). The amount of students using a computer at the library was somewhat refreshing, since it at least meant students were still using the library
The Computer was used extensively for all manners of activities. As expected, games (91%) were overwhelmingly the primary use of the computer. However, schoolwork was at a not too distant second with 78%.
Finally the internet was used significantly in all categories with fun and games being the highest category (75%).
As can be seen in
the tables below, there was very little gender difference in computer and internet
availability. Therefore on can fairly apply gender differences for other categories.
There was not,
however, any significant difference between e-mail and chat room use between males and
What Does it All Mean?
These findings accurately reflect
Tapscotts assertion that children are familiar with and frequently exposed to many
types of computer technology. Children are so familiar, in fact, that 27% claimed to
have used a computer for the purpose of programming.