The use of ICT in education improves the motivation and attainment of both girls and boys, though the increases are more marked for boys than girls.
At home girls have lower levels of access to ICT than boys, and generally use ICT less. Girls use ICT more for school work, whereas boys use it more for leisure purposes. A large proportion of this difference can be accounted for by boys’ greater use of computer/console games.
Girls are therefore more dependent than boys on school for their access to ICT and for guidance on how to use it.
Girls prefer social and creative uses of ICT. They like to work collaboratively and enjoy using technology to learn, in both formal and informal contexts. In the home, online social networking has become an extremely popular for girls.
Although there is little evidence that girls are less skilled than boys in the use of ICT (in fact in some areas they show greater skill), girls generally feel less confident in their ability to use technology.
Whereas boys are interested in technology for its own sake, girls see ICT as a means of pursuing their interests and furthering their learning.
Girls are more likely to both suffer from and engage in cyber-bullying than boys.
Recent trends in ICT may prove particularly beneficial to girls: increasing use of social and collaborative technologies, a growing emphasis on ICT integration within subjects, and a move towards narrative and character-based games could mean that technology, both at school and at home, is increasingly aligned with girls’ interests and preferences.