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Too much computer and Internet use is bad for your grades, especially if you are young and poor Elizabeth A. Dos Santos EME 2040.

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Presentation on theme: "Too much computer and Internet use is bad for your grades, especially if you are young and poor Elizabeth A. Dos Santos EME 2040."— Presentation transcript:

1 Too much computer and Internet use is bad for your grades, especially if you are young and poor Elizabeth A. Dos Santos EME 2040

2 Abstract This study presents the analysis of the 2001 Brazilian Basic Education Evaluation System (SAEB) achievement exam. 4th, 8th, and 11th grade students are tested in mathematics and reading (Portuguese).

3 Abstract Students are classified in 1of 7 socioeconomic classes for each grade level The test results were compared to the frequency of computer use, ownership and Internet access at home, and whether the teacher used computers and Internet as pedagogical tools.

4 Introduction There are a large number of governments and private agencies that provide computers or computer access to poor students in primary and secondary schools. The dominant view of the public is this will improve the learning of those students who do not have access to a computer at home.

5 Introduction Nicholas Negroponte of MIT created one laptop per child (OLPC). OLPC was the development of laptops that would cost around $US 100 to be distributed to poor children world wide.

6 Introduction Several countries have committed to a form of the OLPC project -Brazil -Costa Rica -Thailand -Tunisia -Egypt -Argentina -United States -Cambodia -Dominican Republic -Venezuela

7 Introduction SAEB is a national, sample based achievement test. It is given every 2 years to a random set of 4th, 8th, and 11th grade students The test is composed of reading and math questions as well as questions about frequency of computer use to help in assignments, ownership of computer and Internet access at home.

8 Introduction Teachers were asked about their use of computers as pedagogical tools. The computer ownership and Internet access is correlated with the student’s family socioeconomic status which is correlated with the student’s educational achievement.

9 Introduction SAEB does not identify the students but allows for each student to be linked with their teacher. SAEB is similar to American National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the International Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

10 Method 3 questions were asked of students and 2 questions were asked of teachers about computer and Internet use Do you use computers to do the homework or other assignments asked by the math teacher?

11 Method How many of the following items are there in your home (computers)? Of the following items, are they present in your home (Internet)? Present are a list of a few pedagogical resources indicate whether you use them in the school -Internet access for the students -Computers for use by students

12 Method The Brazilian association for market research companies developed a standard method to classify families into 1 of 7 socioeconomic classes A1(1%), A2(5%), B1(9%), B2(14%), C(36%), D(31%), E(4%) From richest to poorest according to material possessions and education.

13 Method Original sample size was 287,719 students but eliminated -records missing data -private school students -A1 students Actual study sample size was 126,609

14 Table 1 Number of students for each grade and for each socioeconomic class Grade Socioeconomic class Total A2 B1 B2 C D E 4th ,904 17, ,773 8th ,203 16, ,721 11th ,451 10, ,115

15 Fig. 1. Average test results per student frequency of computer use

16 Fig. 2. Average test results for computer ownership

17 Fig. 3. Average test results for Internet access at home

18 Fig. 4. Average test results for teacher use of computer

19 Fig. 5. Average test results for teacher use of Internet

20 Discussion One cannot claim from the results that frequent use of computers to do homework, or the ownership of computer cause a decrease in the student’s academic achievement. This research does not reveal a casual connection between these variables, only a correlation.

21 Discussion The decrease in test performance associated with an increase of computer use is more significant the younger and the poorer the student is. Public school teachers are aware of lack of computer at home to do not tend to assign homework geared toward the use of a computer therefore those students who choose to use one to complete homework may be wasting time and do not comprehend work.

22 Discussion Computer ownership correlates to small increase in older students test scores. Internet access is correlated with a decrease in the test results of younger students and the poorer the student the more the significant the decrease. Older students seem to benefit from access to the Internet.

23 Discussion A 4th grader may not know how to properly utilize the Internet and its sources and therefore do not benefit from its use, but an older student may benefit from the Internet and its sources to improve their educational awareness on any given subject.

24 Discussion The teacher use of computers and the Internet as pedagogical tools in school had no effect of the student’s test results. This can be to the fact that they were not readily available, teachers do not know how to properly use them so avoided them, and there may not be enough sites in Portuguese for them to use.

25 Conclusion The result found a statistically significant reduction of test grades for students that use computer frequently. This particularly pronounced among the younger/poorer students. Also there was a negative impact of Internet access at home for younger students, and a positive impact for the older students. And last the use of computer and Internet as pedagogical tools in schools had no impact in the students’ grades.

26 Reference Wainer, J. Dwyer, T. Dutra, R.S. et al. (2008). Too much computers and Internet use is bad for your grades, especially if you are young and poor: Results from the 2001 Brazilian SAEB. Computers & Education, 51, Retrieved October 16, 2008, from

27 Any Questions?


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