Net Gains: How access to the Internet can improve scholastic achievement
By Thomas Sexton
For children in low-income families, Web access may be a costly but worthwhile investment. A recent year-long study found that the more time kids spent online, the higher their grades and performance on reading tests. Moreover, computer use was not linked to social or psychological problems as an earlier study had suggested.
Linda Jackson, a professor of psychology at Michigan State University and principal researcher says text-heavy Web pages are pushing kids to read more, which accounts for the improvement.
The project, known as HomeNetToo, supplied 90 families with computers, Internet access and in-home technical support for 16 months. Though most Americans now have access to the Internet through libraries and community centers, Jackson says unlimited home access-which many people cannot afford-is far more beneficial.