Tool, Toy, Telephone, Territory, or Treasure of Information: Elementary school students' attitudes toward the Internet

Chien Chou*, Sen chi Yu, Chao-Hsiu Chen, Huan Chueh Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purposes of this study are to investigate fifth-graders' attitudes toward the Internet based on the 5-T framework (Tool, Toy, Telephone, Territory, and Treasure of Information), and to understand whether gender makes any difference in their attitudes. The data were obtained from 2,253 Taiwan fifth-grade students. Through a confirmatory factor analysis, the 5-T model was validated and can be used to explain the corresponding five-factors which constitute Internet attitudes. According to the results, the students perceived the Internet mainly as a useful and powerful tool for their academic work and daily lives. Moreover, students strongly considered the Internet a toy, which is somewhat indistinguishable from the role of Tool. The students acknowledged the role of the Territory that they can demonstrate themselves by writing and sharing personal information online. Therefore, the Internet is good for both reading and writing information. The least weighted factor among 5-Ts student recognized is the role of Telephone. Gender differences exist in the subscales of Tool, Toy, Treasure of Information, and Telephone, but not in the Territory subscale of the Internet attitudes scale. This study further discusses and presents implications of the findings for teachers, parents, and future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-316
Number of pages9
JournalComputers and Education
Volume53
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2009

Keywords

  • Country-specific developments
  • Elementary education
  • Gender studies

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