Education for the Net Generation - 2. Survey of Children and Parents Concerning Internet Use: A Japan-U.S. Comparison (3) - Papers & Essays



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Education for the Net Generation - 2. Survey of Children and Parents Concerning Internet Use: A Japan-U.S. Comparison (3)

Japanese Chinese

5. School Records and the Internet Usage

Major topics that are currently debated in Japanese society are often related to the Internet: cyber-bullying, anonymous message boards about school, and Internet-addiction. Other topics such as school-refusal, stay-at-home children, communication incompetence, delinquency, etc. in the area of student counseling and guidance are also controversial. The immediate interest, however, for parents and children may be the performance and outcome of work in school that shows itself in school records. Children go to school every day for 5 or 6 hours for the purpose of receiving education. Any factors that affect their school records should be unwanted and removed. If Internet usage affects their performance in school, it is quite understandable that parents want to stop their children using the Internet.

Most parents in Japan today are of the generation not brought up in the Internet era. However, they are now facing the necessity of learning how to use the Internet in their office, etc., and actually using the Internet everyday for themselves. Such parents want their children to learn how to use the Internet, but at the same time, they are concerned about the risk of Internet addiction.

Figure 11 shows the relationship between the school records and the average daily home Internet usage of children. Most children, especially those who have an excellent record, responded that they use the Internet at home less than one hour every day. On the other hand, 20 percent of children with a poor school record said they use the Internet more than 3 hours every day. Children who responded that their daily usage is more than 5 hours and less than 7 hours, who constitute 10% of all, devote most of their time at home to online activities. Taking into account that they spend approximately 9 hours outside the home, including the commuting time to and from school and 5 ? 7 hours for the Internet usage at home a day, they may have some problems such as the lack of sleep, etc., that will lead to their lifestyle getting beyond their control. In addition, only about 3 percent of children responded that they do not use the Internet, but considering their record is below average, that means, those children with a poor school record - compared to those who have a better record - either do not use the Internet at all or have unlimited access, thus losing control of their lifestyle.

Figure 11: School Records and Average Daily Home Internet Usage

Figures 12 - 17 show the relationship between school records and major online activities. There is no large gap between the different levels of the school records. Children with an excellent record responded that they play online games as much as those with a lower record. There seems little doubt that online activities such as visiting chat rooms, message boards, using e-mails, buying products online, etc. do not affect the children's performance at school. I have used the direct probabilistic comparison method to find out if any correlation exists, but identified no statistical significance. Therefore, it can be said, from this set of data, that online activities have no direct relevance to performance in school.

Figure 12: School Records × Frequency of E-mail Usage

Figure 13: School Records × Frequency of Playing Online Games

Figure 14: School Records × Frequency of Usage for Homework

Figure 15: School Records × Frequency of Downloading Music

Figure 16: School Records × Frequency of Visiting Chat Rooms and Message Boards

Figure 17: School Records × Frequency of Buying Products Online

Figure 18 shows the relationship between the school records and children's answers to the question of whether parents have ever asked what their children are doing online. About 70 percent of those children, who said they don't know or don't want to answer the question linked to their school records, responded they have been asked about their online activities by parents. In contrast, about 60 percent of children with an excellent school record responded they have never been asked. Therefore, children with a good school record seem to earn the trust of their parents.

Figure 18: School Records × Ever Questioned by Parents about Online Activity