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CYBERCULTURE | HEARD ON THE BEAT

High-Tech Teens

March 02, 1998|P.J. HUFFSTUTTER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A majority of American youths are comfortable using digital tools, according to a recent study by Roper Reports Worldwide.

In the United States, 67% of the the teenagers surveyed said they had used a computer in the last 30 days. Nearly 54% of them did so at home, and 78% of the teens used computers at school or college.

"We've been noticing that our kids have become more and more savvy for the past several years. And I'm hearing the same thing from teachers throughout this region," said Jeanne Robb, director of technology for Harbor Day School, a private K-8 school in Corona del Mar. "We've got fifth-graders who are pulling stuff off the World Wide Web. Just a couple of years ago, there's no way that would have happened."

Add the number of plugged-in teens outside the U.S. and the percentages drop. Globally, 42% of teens who have recently used a computer report having done so at home, while only 60% tap PCs at school or college.

The findings are based on 35,000 face-to-face interviews conducted in April 1997 in 35 countries , including regions of Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Europe, Russia and the U.S. The research firm has offices in Newport Beach, New York City and Hong Kong.

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P.J. Huffstutter covers high technology for The Times. She can be reached at (714) 966-7830 and at p.j.huffstutter@latimes.com

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