Too much computer and Internet use is bad for your grades, especially if you are young and poor: Results from the 2001 Brazilian SAEB


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Type of work: Article (academic)


Digital Inclusion | Digital Literacy | Education


knowledge gap, computers at school


This work presents the analysis of the 2001 Brazilian Basic Education Evaluation System (SAEB) achievement exam. The SAEB tested 4th, 8th, and 11th grade students, in mathematics and reading (Portuguese). We classified the students into seven socioeconomic classes, and for each class, compared the test results according to frequency of computer use, computer ownership, Internet access at home, and whether the teachers used computers and Internet as pedagogical tools. Frequency of computer use had, in general, a negative effect on the test results, and the negative effect increased for younger and poorer students. Computer ownership had, in general, a small positive effect on the test results for older students, and no effect for 4th graders. Internet access had a negative effect for younger and poorer students, and a positive effect for 11th graders. Finally, whether the teacher used computers or Internet as pedagogical tools had no effect on the student’s test results for all social economic classes and grades.