Boys’ and Girls’ Computer Activities and Learning in Internet Cafés

By Christina Solomonidou and Athina Mitsaki.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study describes a research, which investigated the use of the Internet by young people of both genders in places out of school, such as Internet cafés. Nowadays an increasing number of young people spend many hours in front of a computer, especially at Internet cafés. A question this study tried to answer is what are boys’ and girls’ preferred activities and informal learning in Greek Internet cafés? Research data were collected through field observation notes, written questionnaires and semi- structured interviews with the persons who were both responsible and frequenters of five large Internet cafés in Thessaly, central Greece. In total 296 persons were questioned during four time zones (morning, afternoon, night, and late night). Data analysis showed that on-line computer gaming appears to be the most popular leisure time activity for young people. Many young boys play on-line games not only during afternoon but also during morning hours. Those boys frequent Internet cafés in groups instead of going to school. Learning in such places mainly concerns on-line games, and especially racing and violence ones. This activity has proved to be a highly gendered one, in contrast to what happens in schools, where pupils of both genders equally participate in computer activities.

Keywords: Gender Differences, Internet Cafés, Computer Gaming, On Line Gaming, Racing and Violence Computer Games

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 11, pp.169-178. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.216MB).

Prof. Christina Solomonidou

Professor, Pedagogical Department of Primary Education, University of Thessaly, Volos, Thessaly, Greece

Christina Solomonidou is a Professor at the Pedagogical Department of Primary Education of the University of Thessaly. She graduated of the Physics department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece). She made post-graduate studies in Science and Technology Education at the University of Paris 7 (Paris, France), where she got a MEd and a PhD diploma. She has collaborated with other researchers within several research programs aiming at the development of quality educational software, learning science and technology, and the implementation and use of ICT in teaching and learning especially in primary school. She has published four books in Educational Technology, and has an important number of publications in scientific journals and conference proceedings. Her research interests focus on students’ learning science and technology concepts, the design and evaluation of appropriate teaching sequences to remedy students’ alternative conceptions, and teaching and learning with the help of ICT.

Athina Mitsaki

Primary Teacher, Post-Graduate Student, Pedagogical Department of Primary Education, University of Thessaly, Volos, Thessaly, Greece

Athina Mitsaki has graduated from the University of Thessaly, Greece, in 2004. Actually she is a prost-graduate student in a Master programme in Education. She has participated in research programmes, and her research interests include: ICT in education, literature and ICT, the design of educational software for preschoolers, and Internet use outside school. She currently works as a teacher in primary education.


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