Our survey of 1174 students across our three case study schools sought to explore the extent to which digital technology use was a significant aspect of students’ activities – both in terms of school-related work and in general terms of everyday life. The survey posed the question: “If you had no way of using any digital technologies (including the internet) for one week, how many problems would this cause (on a scale of 1=no problems at all to 10=lots of problems)”.
Students responses were relatively consistent between these two contexts – with a mean response with regards to ‘school work’ of 6.31 (sd=2.56); and a mean response with regards to ‘everyday life’ of 6.54 (sd=2.94).
As can be seen in Table One, some patterning in the significance of digital technology to school work was apparent. In particular, technology was most significant for students attending School B and C (F[2, 1028]=6.20, p<0.005); in grades 11/12 (F[2, 1021]=3.11, p<0.01); female students(t=-3.05, df=1024, p<0.005); and/or those students aspiring to continue onto university-level education(t=-2.31, df=1014, p<0.05).
In terms of ‘everyday life’, significant differences were apparent in terms of students attending School A and B (F[2, 1024]=38.01, p<0.05); female students (t=-4.0, df=1020, p<0.0005) and/or students from households where only English was spoken (t=2.43, df=940, p<0.05).