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Are Classroom Internet Use and Academic Performance Higher after Government Broadband Subsidies to Primary Schools?

Author

Listed:
  • Marie Hyland

    (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin; Trinity College Dublin)

  • Richard Layte

    (Trinity College Dublin; Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

  • Seán Lyons

    (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin Trinity College Dublin)

  • Selina McCoy

    (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin Trinity College Dublin)

  • Mary Silles

    (University of Hull, United Kingdom)

Abstract

This paper combines data from a government programme providing broadband access to primary schools in Ireland with anonymised survey microdata on schools’, teachers’ and pupils use of the internet to examine the links between public subsidies, classroom use of the internet and educational performance. The microdata are drawn from the 9-year-old cohort of the Growing Up in Ireland Study. We estimate regression models to identify the factors associated with internet use in the classroom and students’ scores on standardised reading and mathematics tests, and we check whether internet use is endogenous in the test score models. We find that provision of broadband service under the government scheme is associated with more than a doubling of teachers’ use of the internet in class after about a two year lag. Better computing facilities in schools are also associated with higher internet use, but advertised download speed is not statistically significant. Internet use in class is associated with significantly higher average mathematics and reading scores on standardised tests. A set of confounding factors is included, with results broadly in line with previous literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Marie Hyland & Richard Layte & Seán Lyons & Selina McCoy & Mary Silles, 2015. "Are Classroom Internet Use and Academic Performance Higher after Government Broadband Subsidies to Primary Schools?," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 46(3), pages 399-428.
  • Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:46:y:2015:i:3:p:399-428
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Coyne, Brian & McCoy, Selina, 2016. "The Student Perspective on In-school Personal Electronic Devices and Online Safety: A Qualitative Study," Papers WP547, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    2. McCoy,Selina & Lyons,Seán & Coyne,Bryan & Darmody,Merike, 2017. "Teaching and Learning in Second- Level Schools at the Advent of High-Speed Broadband," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS51.
    3. Daniele Checchi & Enrico Rettore & Silvia Girardi, 2019. "IC technology and learning: an impact evaluation of Cl@ssi 2.0," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(3), pages 241-264, May.
    4. Smyth, Emer & McCoy, Selina & Kingston, Gillian, 2015. "Learning from the Evaluation of DEIS," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS39.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    internet use; subsidies; primary education;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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