Document Type


Publication Date



This study focused on 189 sixth and seventh graders in two large suburban schools and their use of computer technologies as part of their everyday literacy practices. We were especially interested in the students' conceptions of computer technologies and how computer use varied across grade and reading levels. The study included a survey completed by all 189 students that provided an overview of students' uses of computer technologies and other literacy practices. Interviews with 24 students provided more detailed information on how sixth- and seventh-grade students at different reading levels used and conceptualized computer technologies in and out of school. Findings showed that many students, especially sixth graders, were far less interested in computer technologies than is suggested by common conceptions. Findings also showed an important shift between sixth and seventh graders toward more interest in practices that provided social interaction or entertainment. Some of the conceptions these students held about computer technologies could be attributed to changing social and developmental needs, but a variety of factors, such as literacy skills and contexts of use, influenced these students as well.


Publisher Acknowledgment:

This is the Publisher’s PDF of the following article made available by National Council of Teachers of English © 2009: Agee, J. M., & Altarriba, J. (2009). Changing conceptions and uses of computer technologies in the everyday literacy practices of sixth and seventh graders. Research in the Teaching of English, 43, 363-396.



Terms of Use

This work is made available under the Scholars Archive Terms of Use.