And yet another study! For those of you that like government reports, rejoice! The National Center for Education Statistics (part of the Department of Education) has released a study of 2003 data on computer and internet use by K-12'rs.
There's been a lot of debate on the "digital divide"--meaning the different access and usage of computer technologies by various demographic and socioeconomic groups. This study adds a new dimension but by no means solves the riddle.
The study, titled Computers and Internet Use by Students in 2003 presents data that does indicate some differences. Namely, computer usage among White children is higher than that of Black or Hispanic children, as is usage among children with more highly educated parents and higher family income. Note that this is USE, not ACCESS. Note also that on page 58 of the study it covers some data on adult internet usage that indicates similar trends.
Implications for recruitment and selection? Understand that throwing all your outreach and selection processes into the internet basket may result in some adverse impact...and keep watching those applicant flow statistics!