Report

Teens, Technology And School

The Internet is an important element in the overall educational experience of many teenagers, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Schools are a common location where online teens access the Web, although very few online teenagers rely exclusively on their school for that Web access.

Further, there is widespread agreement among teens and their parents that the Internet can be a useful tool for school. However, 37 percent of teens say they believe that “too many” of their peers are using the Internet to cheat. And there is some disagreement among teens and their parents about whether children must be Web-literate by the time they begin school. Additionally, large numbers of teens and adults have used the Web to search for information about colleges and universities.

This Pew Internet Project survey finds that 87 percent of all youth between the ages of 12 and 17 use the Internet. That translates into about 21 million people. Of those 21 million online teens, 78 percent (or about 16 million students) say they use the Internet at school. Put another way, this means that 68 percent of all teenagers have used the Internet at school.

This represents growth of roughly 45 percent over the past four years from about 11 million teens who used the Internet in schools in late 2000. In the Pew Internet Project survey in late 2000, we found that 73 percent of those ages 12 to 17 used the Internet and that 47 percent of those in that age cohort used the Internet at school.

For a growing portion of the online teen population, schools have become an important venue for Internet use for a significant number of teens. About one in five online teens (18 percent) who use the Internet from multiple locations list school as the location where they go online most often. This figure is up from 11 percent in December 2000.