There are a lot of articles and rampant speculation about the coming changes in society and education due to children spending time on the Internet. In large part much of this talk is based on very little evidence about what young people are actually doing online.
Sonia Livingstone and her colleagues at the London School of Economics and Political Science has been doing some of the best research to see what children are actually doing online.
One of her key findings is that children are mostly using the Internet for communication with friends. Twenty-nine percent of children (ages 9-11) and 31% of childrne (18-19) are more likely to choose books to help with homework. This suggests that for many children the Internet is not necessarily a powerful "learning" tool.