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Digitally empowered? Portuguese children and the national poli- cies for internet inclusion

Keywords: children and the internet , public internet access , digital competencies

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Abstract:

Accessing the internet more than their parents, two out of three Portuguese children and youths (9-16 years) have laptops and go online in their bedrooms while one in four use public libraries to access the internet, both values being above the European average. Summing up the national ICT policies that led to the wide availability of laptops together with the development of a public network of centers, this paper is based on two research presents pro les of Portuguese children and youth attending those centers. The analysis demonstrates their enthusiasm as internet users as well as the constraints and challenges in being empowered with informational and communicational skills.

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