International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Children and the Internet – A Preliminary Study in Uruguay
Sugata Mitra, Mabel Quiroga

Since 2007, almost every child in Uruguay has a laptop connected to the Internet. We investigated possible changes that such exposure to IT may have had on the children’s ability to read, understand, search and analyze information. This paper reports the results of experiments carried out in 4 schools in and around Montevideo. The experiments consisted of children attempting to answer ‘deep’ questions in groups, children attempting to read beyond their expected levels in Spanish and English, and whether children would read better in groups than individually. The paper describes the design and limitations of these experiments, the results and their possible interpretation. It is suggested that children in groups can perform better at ‘hard’ problems than they can individually. It may be the opposite for ‘easy’ problems. It is suggested that the children studied in Uruguay are as good or better at reading than the corresponding standard recommended in the UK/USA. They are also shown to be capable of researching effectively using the Internet. The study raises several new research questions.

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