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From hackers to luddites, game players to game creators: profiles of adolescent students using technology

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This paper explores a range of responses to computer and video technology as exemplified by a class of Grade 7 and 8 students in alow- to middle-income suburban school in a mid-sized Ontario city. The class was provided with four networked Macintosh LC III computers. The responses, attitudes and behaviours of the students towards technology, both at home and at school, were documented through field notes, observations, concept maps, interviews and journals over the course of a school year. From these observations, classroom 'computer personalities' emerged; students were characterized as hackers, game players, game creators, reluctant users, luddites, eager users and sporadic users of computer technology. Each of the 'personalities' is profiled and patterns of game-playing and game creation are described, classroom uses and home uses of computers are compared, and students' ways of using their free computer time in the classroom context are discussed. Finally, some suggestions for inclusionary practices for schooling with technology are offered.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 1998

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