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The Impact of Home Internet Access on Test Scores By Steve Macho

Chapter 1:  Introduction
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The Impact of Home Internet Access on Test Scores

Chapter One

Introduction

Technologies in the home, such as computers and Internet access, have become common in the past decade. In 2002, over half of all Americans were using the Internet (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2002).Nearly every student in the United States has used the Internet for schoolwork (Lenhart, Simon, & Graziano, 2001; Levin & Arafeh, 2002; U.S. Department of Commerce, 2002; U.S. Department of Education, 2005a).

Many parents purchase computers expressly for their children’s educational use. Access to the Internet has been one of the driving forces for this growth, which is expected to continue in the coming years, especially as options for faster connections to the Internet become more common, through cable services and high speed telephone access. Greater access to home computers is being encouraged by increasingly less expensive computers (below $1000) that invite moderate income families, often first-time users, to acquire technology. (Kafai, Fishman, Bruckman, & Rockman, 2002, p. 53)

How are students using this resource for educational purposes? “Approximately 9 out of 10 high school students who have access to a home computer use that computer to complete school assignments” (Fairlie, 2003, p. 3).