ERIC Number: ED268991
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985
Reference Count: 0
A Look at High School Students and Computers: An Observational Study.
Digranes, Jo Lynn Autry
A participant observation study was conducted to address socialization, cultural, and values questions related to high school students' interactions with microcomputers. Specific issues addressed included: (1) student social patterns in microcomputer interactions; (2) cultural and sex differences in microcomputer interactions; and (3) student affective responses to microcomputers. Observational study occurred in beginning programming classes and free computer lab periods (before and after school and during lunch) for a period of one semester; student interviews were also used to collect data. Results substantiate previously reported gender differences in enrollment in advanced classes and use of the microcomputer lab outside class time, with the males predominating in those areas. Although female enrollment equaled that of the males in the introductory level of programming classes, they did exhibit less interest in computer classes, computer use, and computer careers than the males. In addition, the males in gender-mixed groups tended to dominate the keyboard for both typing and input of data. There was a great deal of interaction, primarily academic in nature, related to microcomputers: student-to-student, student-to-teacher, and student-to-microcomputer. Generally, the interaction was open in the classes, but in the noon lab, student-to-student interaction was more evident between/among the "regulars." It is noted that the computer itself is an interactive medium, and that the class structure and student preference for working in pairs/groups further stimulated interactive behavior. A list of references is provided. (JB)
Descriptors: Cultural Differences, Interpersonal Relationship, Interviews, Microcomputers, Naturalistic Observation, Programing, Qualitative Research, Research Methodology, Secondary Education, Sex Differences, Student Attitudes, Student Behavior, Student Subcultures, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Rocky Mountain American Educational Research Association (Las Cruces, NM, October 1985).