Lots to digest in this summary of evidence on the effects on children of increased home computer availability. Two key points:
- Mathematics and reading test scores drop a little with the growing use of home computers
- Introduction of broadband internet widens racial and socioeconomic development gaps
As the study says, the skills highlighted in reading and mathematics tests may not be as valuable in the workplace as others learned with home computing.
Big question: how to track whether this effect is present as we roll out computing and the internet to all (which I am still fully in favour of, by the way). We must avoid digital engagement that leads to societal exclusion or leads to digital inclusion that is slightly damaging for the included.