The purpose of this dissertation was to examine the relationship between student access to a computer at home and academic achievement. The 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) dataset was probed using the National Data Explorer (NDE) to investigate correlations in the subsets of SES, Parental Education, Race, and Gender as it relates to access of a home computer and improved performance scores for U.S. public school grade 12 science students. A causal-comparative approach was employed seeking clarity on the relationship between home access and performance scores. The influence of home access cannot overcome the challenges students of lower SES face. The achievement gap, or a second digital divide, for underprivileged classes of students, including minorities does not appear to contract via student access to a home computer. Nonetheless, in tests for significance, statistically significant improvement in science performance scores was reported for those having access to a computer at home compared to those not having access. Additionally, regression models reported evidence of correlations between and among subsets of controls for the demographic factors gender, race, and socioeconomic status. Variability in these correlations was high; suggesting influence from unobserved factors may have more impact upon the dependent variable. Having access to a computer at home increases performance scores for grade 12 general science students of all races, genders and socioeconomic levels. However, the performance gap is roughly equivalent to the existing performance gap of the national average for science scores, suggesting little influence from access to a computer on academic achievement. The variability of scores reported in the regression analysis models reflects a moderate to low effect, suggesting an absence of causation. These statistical results are accurate and confirm the literature review, whereby having access to a computer at home and the predictor variables were found to have a significant impact on performance scores, although the data presented suggest computer access at home is less influential upon performance scores than poverty and its correlates.
|Advisor:||Slater, Robert O.|
|Commitee:||Hoffman, Sharon, Williams, Douglas|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Secondary education, Educational technology, Science education|
|Keywords:||Computer access, Computers, Home access to computers, NAEP|
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