The Ecology of Children’s Computing

April 1, 2005

The Ecology of Children's Computing study explores the 'digital divide' not only as an issue of access to technology but of access to meaningful uses of technology. By 'meaningful' use we mean uses that require higher-order thinking skills for productivity, communication and synthesis of information.

We conducted case studies of two urban schools with similar educational philosophies but different approaches to school computing, tracing how these policies and practices played out in the literacies students developed in school, at home and with peers. We found important differences in the ways students in these cohorts develop digital skills and how they view themselves as technology users.

The paper will present findings about the mechanisms by which two schools passed their vision of technology on to students, and profiles of the young technology users who emerged from these two settings.


Katherine Culp
Hannah Nudell
Andrew Gersick
Harouna Ba