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Visual Education and The Internet Camp: A Study of Underprivileged Children and Their Web Pages
Unformatted Document Text:  10 categories and some might have been both at-risk and underprivileged. Thus, the goal of the Internet Camp was clear: designing web pages would give the children a voice and an opportunity to express themselves in terms of the computer-based medium, thus going beyond a simple technological fix. They would, in effect, become literate with the medium and understand how to influence it and others through their expressive activities of web page making. Whether or not this program helped to close the gap between these children and the more literate “haves” of society, proves to be more difficult to examine and make determinations about it. Recent trends indicate that about 20% of children used home computers to access the Internet (Paik, 2001). Research shows that children and teenagers are the two largest growing groups using the Internet (Jupiter Communication, 1999). Approximately 8.6 million children (5- 12 years old) and 8.4 million teenagers (13-18 years old) were using the Internet in 1998 (Jupiter Communication, 1999). The reasons children use the Internet vary widely. The most often cited reasons children use the Internet are for finding government, business, health, or educational information (76%), e-mail (57.5%), chat rooms (32%), seeking news, weather, and sports information (28%), newsgroups (5%), and taking courses (3%) (1997 Census data, cited in Paik, 2001, p. 23). Boys and girls tend to use the Internet for similar purposes, although there is some divergence. Boys use the Internet more for news, weather, and sports information (35.4% vs. 19.7% for girls), and girls use the Internet more for e-mail (61.6% vs. 54.4% for boys) (Paik, 2001, p. 23). Details about the children who participated in the Internet Camp, their opinions, and knowledge of the Internet were gathered with a survey that was administered to them at an early

Authors: Mullen, Lawrence.
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categories and some might have been both at-risk and underprivileged.
Thus, the goal of the Internet Camp was clear: designing web pages would give the
children a voice and an opportunity to express themselves in terms of the computer-based
medium, thus going beyond a simple technological fix. They would, in effect, become literate
with the medium and understand how to influence it and others through their expressive
activities of web page making. Whether or not this program helped to close the gap between
these children and the more literate “haves” of society, proves to be more difficult to examine
and make determinations about it.
Recent trends indicate that about 20% of children used home computers to access the
Internet (Paik, 2001). Research shows that children and teenagers are the two largest growing
groups using the Internet (Jupiter Communication, 1999). Approximately 8.6 million children (5-
12 years old) and 8.4 million teenagers (13-18 years old) were using the Internet in 1998 (Jupiter
Communication, 1999). The reasons children use the Internet vary widely. The most often cited
reasons children use the Internet are for finding government, business, health, or educational
information (76%), e-mail (57.5%), chat rooms (32%), seeking news, weather, and sports
information (28%), newsgroups (5%), and taking courses (3%) (1997 Census data, cited in Paik,
2001, p. 23). Boys and girls tend to use the Internet for similar purposes, although there is some
divergence. Boys use the Internet more for news, weather, and sports information (35.4% vs.
19.7% for girls), and girls use the Internet more for e-mail (61.6% vs. 54.4% for boys) (Paik,
2001, p. 23).
Details about the children who participated in the Internet Camp, their opinions, and
knowledge of the Internet were gathered with a survey that was administered to them at an early


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