SAN JOSE, Calif. — Forget revenge of the nerds. In Silicon Valley, even a growing number of school jocks now have a lot of geek know-how.

A survey conducted by the San Jose Mercury News and Kaiser Family Foundation indicates the vast majority of graduating teens in the region have lived a significant chunk of their adolescence on the Internet. And many of them possess skills, such as building Web sites, that were previously relegated to hard-core technophiles.

The Internet is a common presence in school and at home for almost all, according to the survey of more than 800 Silicon Valley children ages 10 to 17 and their parents. Survey results were the basis of a Mercury News series.

Key survey findings, according to the Mercury News, include:

Instant messaging and chat rooms are staples of teen communication, with half of all kids using one of those online tools at least once a week. One in four said messaging, chat, or e-mails are their primary vehicles for keeping in touch with family and friends.

Schools have helped close the so-called "digital divide" but have been unable to deliver the higher-quality access found in Silicon Valley homes, leading to incongruities between those who have a home computer and those who can log on only at school.

Significant disparities in Internet access and use persist when it comes to Silicon Valley's poorest, least-educated and Hispanic households, but the gaps narrow dramatically among the new wired generation.