Computer skills and digital media uses among young students in Rio de Janeiro

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Abstract

The main purpose of this paper is provide information relevant for  the formulation of new policies for the integration of technology in education from  the  discussion of research results that analyse computer skills and digital media uses among students (between 12 to 18 years old) from schools in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The schools surveyed were selected by a stratified random sample. The questionnaire allowed for statistical measurement of theoretical constructs employing non parametrical item response theory. The schools showed a homogeneous pattern with regard to the frequency of use and the ability of students to perform tasks on the computer. Most students use the computer and the Internet at home. The use of computers in schools is minimal and does not influence the students' ability. Even so, the use of a computer at school positively affects the frequency of use and suggests that schools can play a role in promoting digital inclusion. The availability of media resources at home, how long students have been using a computer and cultural practices during the students’ free time had notable positive correlations with the student’s abilities. The results suggest that the relation between age and abilities in the use of computer and internet was not significant, except in reference to school delays which were related to age and to students’ grades, i.e., the more delayed a student is, the less able he/she will be.

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How to Cite
Duarte, R., Cazelli, S., Migliora, R. P., & Coimbra, C. A. (2013). Computer skills and digital media uses among young students in Rio de Janeiro. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 21, 53. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v21n53.2013
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Author Biographies

Rosalia Duarte, Pontificia Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro

Rosalia Duarte is senior researcher at the Department of Education at Pontificia Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and research director of GRUPEM - Research Group Education and Media. Her current research interest is related to digital media uses of youth and children. 

Sibele Cazelli, Museu de Astronomia e Ciências Afins

Sibele Cazelli is senior researcher at the Department of Science Education at Museum of Astronomy in Rio de Janeiro. Her current research interests include the use of statistical models in the assessment in formal education, non-formal education and audiences studies within the approach of an applied sociology of education. She also teaches graduate courses in Museum Studies at the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro.

Rita Peixoto Migliora, Pontificia Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro

Rita Peixoto Migliora is associated researcher at GRUPEM - Research Group Education and Media at Pontificia Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. Her current research interest is related to computer skills and digital media uses of young people, especially in relation to educational activities.

Carlos Alberto Coimbra, Museum of Astronomy and Related Sciences

Carlos Alberto Q. Coimbra is senior researcher at the Department of Science Education at Museum of Astronomy in Rio de Janeiro. His current research interests include the use of statistical models, such as item response theory and multilevel analysis, in the study of sociological questions with data obtained in large scale surveys on Education. He also teaches undergraduate courses at the National School of Statistical Science in Rio.