The Heller Report: Pew education study shows heavy internet use

Pew education study shows heavy internet use

An impressive 94% of youth ages 12-17 who have internet access say they use the internet for school research and 78% say they believe the internet helps them with schoolwork. 47% say it helps them a lot. Those figures come from The Internet and Education: Findings of the Pew Internet & American Life Project (Washington, DC). The survey, conducted last November and December, included 754 youths ages 12-17. The report was released September 1. Other findings include:

* 71% of online teens say that they used the internet as the major source for their most recent major school project or report.

* 41% of online teens say they use email and instant messaging to contact teachers or classmates about schoolwork.

* 34% of online teens have downloaded an online study aid.

* 18% of online teens say they know of someone who has used the internet to cheat on a paper or test.

* 58% of online teens report using Web sites that had been set up specifically for their school or for a particular class.

* 17% of online teens have created a Web page for a school project.

The vast majority of youth report their primary access to the internet is at home and that is the place they most frequently go online. About two-thirds (64%) say they have gone online at one time or another from school. Only 11% say their primary access to the internet is at school.

Parental Use

Key findings from a survey of 754 of the parents of those youths include:

* 87% of parents of online teens believe that the internet helps students with their schoolwork and 93% believe the internet helps students learn new things.

* 55% say the internet has been a good thing for their children; only 6% say it has been a bad thing; 38% say the internet has no effect one way or the other on their children.

* 55% say that it is essential for today’s children to learn how to use the internet in order to be successful and another 40% believe it is important.

* 28% of these parents have used email to communicate with their children’s teachers.

Other education-related findings include:

* 5% of adult internet users have taken a class online for college credit. That amounts to more than 5 million people.

* 53% of adult internet users have gone online to do research for school or job training. On any given day, 8% of adult internet users are online doing research for school or job training.

* 52% of adult internet users have done job-related research online. On a typical day, 16% of internet users are online doing job-related research. About half of internet users (more than 50 million people) have access to the internet at work.

Internet Use During the Attack

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press also released findings on how Americans used the internet to respond to the attack on America. 30% of internet users say the internet helped them learn about what was going on in the first days after the attacks occurred, and 29% say the internet helped them connect with people they needed to reach. A majority of 81% say they got most of their information from TV, and there was no statistical difference between internet users and nonusers in their reliance on TV news. Internet users were more likely to use the telephone to try to reach someone. A quarter of internet users were multitasking on that Tuesday by having the TV or radio on while they were surfing or sending email. About 30 million American adults, or 29% of internet users, tried to get news of the crisis online on the day of the attacks. 58% of those went to multiple sites.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Nelson B. Heller & Associates

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group