Home Information and Communication Technology Use and Student Academic Performance: Encouraging Results for Uncertain Times
journal contributionposted on 2021-06-23, 00:00 authored by David SkvarcDavid Skvarc, M Talbot, T Harries, C J Wilson, N Joshua, Linda ByrneLinda Byrne
This study set out to examine the associations of certain information communication technology (ICT) factors in the home environment with academic performance. We employed existing data sets collated by Pearson Clinical Assessment in 2016 which included the WIAT-III A&NZ (Wechsler Individual Achievement Test - Australian and New Zealand Standardised, Third Edition) completed by 714 students aged between 4 and 18 years old, and the home environment questionnaire (HEQ) completed by the parents of those children. Sequential multiple regression models were used to analyze the complex interactions between home ICT factors and measures of student reading, writing, mathematical, and oral ability. The findings of this study indicate that after accounting for the known powerful predictors of household income and parental education: (a) a student’s access to an ICT rich home environment, (b) their aptitude in using home ICT, and (c) their recreational use of home ICT, are largely unrelated to academic performance. We observed some small positive correlations between academic performance and child ICT affinity, but also comparably sized negative associations with use of social media and educational TV viewing. Encouragingly, we propose that these findings suggest that increasing levels of ICT use and access in the home are unlikely to be detrimental to academic progress. These results provide important information for parents and educators given the impact of the Coronavirus global pandemic and the near world-wide adoption of ICT for home-schooling.