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Young socialites: Australian Year 8 students embrace social media

An international study of computer and information literacy reveals social media use is the most popular computer activity among Australian Year 8 students.

The International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) is a comparative study of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). The study examines students’ acquisition of computer and information literacy (CIL).

ACER is responsible for designing and implementing the study in close coop­eration with the IEA Secretariat, the IEA Data Processing and Research Center, and the national centres of participating countries.

In 2013, ICILS assessed student CIL achievement in 18 countries and three benchmarking participants through a computer-based assessment administered to students in Year 8 at school. In Australia, 5 326 students took part.

The study examined students’ use of, and engagement with, information and communication technology (ICT) at home, and their use of computers and the Internet for various activities.

The study revealed that the most popular activity among the Australian Year 8 students surveyed was communicating with others using social networks. Fifty-nine per cent of Year 8 students reported using social media every day for out-of-school recreation – 65 per cent of girls and 52 per cent of boys.

Australian girls were more likely than boys to communicate with others using social networks, listen to music and post comments to online profiles or blogs every day, while Australian boys were more likely than girls to play computer games every day.

The results for Australian Year 8 students were similar to the results world-wide. Internationally, 60 per cent of Year 8 girls and 51 per cent of Year 8 boys surveyed reported using social media every day.

Playing computer games was also more popular among boys than girls internationally, with 46 per cent of boys reporting playing computer games every day compared with 15 per cent of girls. ■

Further information:

Learn more about the International Computer and Information Literacy Study.

Read more about the ICILS results in the July 2016 issue of Snapshots.

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