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4720.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey: Users' Guide, 2008  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/02/2010   
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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY


OVERVIEW

This chapter provides information on various aspects of information technology collected in the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS). Information was collected on the:

  • household level; and
  • selected persons level.

Household level information includes:
Selected persons level information includes:
For more information on file levels refer to Output file in the Survey design chapter. This chapter also outlines some inconsistencies to be aware of when analysing the information technology data.


TELEPHONE COMMUNICATION

Types of telephones used

The household spokesperson was asked what types of telephones people in the household had used in the month prior to interview. More than one response was allowed. Response categories included:
  • landline at home;
  • landline at neighbours or friends;
  • pre-paid mobile phone;
  • mobile phone (contract);
  • public phone;
  • community phone (located in council office or similar);
  • satellite phone;
  • other; or
  • no phones used at all.


Comparison to the 2002 NATSISS

In 2002, the household spokesperson was asked whether the household had a telephone that all household members could use. Information on the types of telephones used or available was not collected in 2002.


COMPUTERS AND THE INTERNET

For all households, the 2008 NATSISS collected information about working computers and Internet connection in the house. Information on the use of computers and the Internet was collected for selected persons aged 5 years and over.


Working computers and Internet connection

For all households, the household spokesperson was asked whether there was a computer in the house. If there was a computer in the house the spokesperson was asked if the computer was working at the time of interview.

In households with no computer, the spokesperson was asked to provide all of the reasons for not having one. More than one response was allowed. Response categories included:
  • cost;
  • nowhere to buy computer;
  • no interest/don't want;
  • limited or no electricity;
  • would not know how to use;
  • can access elsewhere; and
  • other reason.

In households with a computer that was not working, the spokesperson was asked to provide all of the reasons for it not working. More than one response was allowed. Response categories included:
  • can't afford to get it fixed;
  • can't get someone to fix it;
  • parts not available;
  • power not connected; and
  • other reason.

In households with a working computer, the spokesperson was asked if there were any computers in the house connected to the Internet at the time of interview. If there were no computers connected to the Internet, the spokesperson was asked to provide the main reason for not having an Internet connection. Response categories included:
  • no service available;
  • no landline connection to home;
  • costs are too high;
  • need to upgrade computer;
  • no interest in/don't want Internet;
  • poor opinion of/don't like Internet;
  • Internet connection unreliable;
  • concern that children may access inappropriate sites;
  • have access to Internet elsewhere;
  • no use for the Internet;
  • would not know how to use;
  • privacy concerns;
  • have Internet connections; and
  • other reason.


Computer and Internet use

People aged 5 years and over were asked about their use of computers and the Internet in the 12 months prior to interview. For children aged 5-14 years this information was collected via the proxy. Use of the Internet includes using email or the World Wide Web. Computers include:
  • those which are rented or leased, as well as those which are owned by someone else;
  • pocket computers and personal organiser which can be plugged into larger computers or the Internet (eg palm pilots); and
  • portable and desktop computers.

Computers do not include:
  • calculators;
  • games machines (eg arcade games, PlayStation, Nintendo, Xbox, etc);
  • gaming machines or Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs); and
  • machines where repair or restorations to working order is needed but not being planned.

People were asked if in the 12 months prior to interview they had used:
  • a computer;
  • the Internet;
  • a computer and the Internet; or
  • none of these.

People who had used a computer and/or the Internet were asked where they had used a computer and/or where they had used the Internet. More than one response was allowed, Response categories included:
  • home;
  • own workplace;
  • school;
  • public library;
  • TAFE/tertiary institution;
  • Government agency/department/shop-front;
  • Internet/cyber cafe or similar;
  • community centre or voluntary organisation;
  • parent's work or study place;
  • neighbour's, friend's or relative's house; and
  • other place.

The reasons for using a computer in the 12 months prior to interview were collected separately for adults and children. People aged 15 years and over who had used a computer in the 12 months prior to interview were asked for which purposes did they use a computer. More than one response was allowed. Response categories included:
  • work or business;
  • education or study;
  • volunteer or community group activities;
  • personal or private;
  • other purpose; and
  • don't know.

Proxies of children aged 5-14 years who had used a computer in the 12 months prior to interview were asked for which purposes did the child use a computer. More than one response was allowed. Response categories included:
  • school work (eg typing up assignments, homework);
  • playing games;
  • hobbies/non-school activities;
  • other purpose; and
  • don't know.

People aged 5 years and over who had used the Internet were asked for which purposes they had used the Internet. More than one response was allowed. Response categories included:
  • work/business;
  • to pay bills;
  • education or study;
  • volunteer/community groups;
  • buying goods on-line (eg new and used goods such as music, videos or ring tones);
  • entertainment or leisure (eg Internet based games or general browsing);
  • talking or communicating with people (eg emails, chat rooms or instant messenger);
  • other personal or private reasons;
  • other reason; and
  • don't know.


Comparison to the 2002 NATSISS

The 2002 NATSISS collected information on the use of computers and the Internet in the 12 months prior to interview, for people aged 15 years and over. Information on whether households had working computers or Internet connection was not collected in 2002. There are some differences in information collected on computer and Internet use between the 2002 and 2008 NATSISS:
  • 'parent's work or study place' added as a response category for where people had used a computer/the Internet in 2008;
  • reasons for using a computer was not collected in 2002;
  • purpose of Internet use was limited to the main purpose in 2002, and response categories were limited to:
      • work/business;
      • education/study;
      • volunteer/community groups;
      • personal/private;
      • other purpose; and
      • don't know; and
  • frequency of Internet use was collected in 2002.


INCONSISTENCIES IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DATA

The 2008 NATSISS information technology data contains some inconsistencies in the information provided by the:
  • household spokesperson; and
  • selected person (or child proxy).

Analysis of the information technology data should therefore take into consideration the following:
  • people who said they used a computer at home, but the household spokesperson said there was no (working) computer in the house;
  • people who said they used a computer and the Internet at home, but the household spokesperson said there was no computer connected to the Internet in the house;
  • people who said they used a computer or the Internet for work or business purposes, but were not employed;
  • people who said they used a computer or the Internet for school, but did not usually attend school;
  • people who said they had used the Internet, but not a computer, and had used the Internet at places where it is expected that a computer would be used for Internet access (eg cyber cafes, public libraries and community centres); and
  • children aged less than 15 years identified as using the Internet at work or at a TAFE/tertiary institution.

Some of these discrepancies may be explained by differences in the reference periods (timing). For example, questions about computer and Internet use were in relation to use in the 12 months prior to interview and questions about computers/Internet connection in the house related to the time of interview. Some people may have had a computer at some point during the 12 months prior to interview, but not at the time of interview. Similarly, a person's labour force status is classified according to their activities in the week prior to interview, so a person may have been employed at some time during the 12 months prior to interview, but not at the time of interview.

Other discrepancies may be due to peoples' interpretation of the questions and/or concepts, and their selection of inappropriate response categories due to the lack of, or unclear, definitions. For example, if a child used a computer or the Internet at a TAFE/tertiary institution with an adult (either a parent or another adult), the response for the place where used computer/Internet should have been 'parent's work or study place' or 'other', but may have been 'TAFE/tertiary institution'.


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