The relationship between environmental factors and usage behaviors at ‘Hole-in-the-wall’ computers
International Journal of Educational Development
Volume 29, Issue 1, January 2009, Pages 91–98
Jennifer DeBoer,


This paper gathers and analyzes self-reported user behavior data for public computers installed in varied neighborhoods in India to explore the relationship between environmental factors such as urbanicity and reported usage behaviors. There is evidence of large differences in usage behavior between urban and non-urban sites. Children at urban sites fit a profile of dedicated and independent kiosk-goers, while rural children are more likely to use the computers in groups. Total overall computer usage, however, appears similar in both environments. The sites used for the study have other important characteristics, such as proximity to a school complex, which could have large mitigating effects on the measured behaviors. Further study could yield other interesting and more generalizable results. This study provides insight into children's behavior patterns at free-access ‘Hole-in-the-Wall’ computers as well as offers exploratory findings for the designers of free-access computers in developing nations where alternative educational development via technology could be implemented.

India; Free-access computers; Environmental factors; Technology uses in education

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