The explosion of the internet has improved global communication and created a significant impact in our lives. With the advent of broadband wireless internet access in Singapore, our adolescents are spending intensive hours in cyberspace everyday and everywhere to meet their educational, entertainment, social and emotional needs. While they are going through this transitional stage of their life in seeking the ‘Who am I’ answers, this article reviews and seeks to understand what they do on the internet. It was discovered that both U.S. and Singapore adolescents enjoy interactive cyber communication with their peers and sharing common interest such as on-line games and audio/video downloading. An action research on a group of 35 adolescents in Singapore has revealed some interesting patterns in their internet engagement. This emerging engagement cannot be ignored by parents and teachers as we discuss our roles in protecting and nurturing our adolescents.
The Singapore Government is systematically and strongly promoting the use of information technology. One of its strategies is to make it compulsory that 30% of the school curriculum to have an information technology component and to be computer-based by 2002 (Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, 2000). Naturally, the advocacy of Internet use is part of this omnipresent attempt. Young Singaporeans are placed right in the midst of all these changes and soon Internet use will be commonplace given the Government 's ubiquitous promotion. As an academic staff in the Polytechnic, my objective is to study what our adolescent students do on the internet. By having a better understanding of their engagement on the internet, it would help us as facilitators to identify their interests, needs and to understand what motivates them. This literature review covers some surveys on adolescents conducted in the United States, studies on the impact of the
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