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HomeNetToo is an NSF-funded research project that examines Internet use in the homes of low-income families. Participants in the HomeNetToo project were parents and children recruited from a low-income community in Lansing, Michigan.

HomeNetToo is an NSF-funded research project designed to address two fundamental questions:

  • What causes people to use or not use the Internet?
  • What effects does Internet use have on people?

To address these fundamental questions the project is examining: (1) the social and cultural factors that may be contributing to the digital divide; (2) the effects of Internet use on psychological and social well-being and on educational and professional outcomes. Toward these objectives participants' Internet use has been automatically recorded, and survey data have been collected at Pre-trial, One-month, Three-Months, Nine-months and Post-trial. In addition, a subsample of participants have completed in 2-hour in-home interviews conducted while they were engaging in Internet activities.

Another focus of the HomeNetToo project is the design of user interfaces adapted to culturally-influenced differences in cognitive style. The M.I.N.D. lab project team has developed interfaces focused on health information (i.e., heart disease) and is evaluating the efficacy of alternative interface designs for learning health information. For more details about the interface design component of the project, click here or on the Interface Design Progress Report in the left window.

HomeNetToo participants received in-home technical support for their Internet use. For a summary of tech support needs addressed in the project click on this link: Tech Support Log.

Most HomeNetToo participants had little or no experience using computers or the Internet prior to their participation in the project. Many now have considerable computer and Internet skills. Their progress, to be documented in later reports of quantitative findings, is evident in anecdotal reports collected by staff during the first year of the project. Read about the increasing technical skills of HomeNetToo participants by clicking here: Participants Gain Skills.

from 2000-09-01 to 2005-09-01
Linda A. Jackson
keywords: Low-income, internet use,

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