Sunday, April 02, 2006

What K-12 Students Have to Say

I've been reading one of the reports from education evolving dot org, which is a joint venture between Hamline University and the Center for Policy Studies. They have reports on several projects, many of which revolve around a theme that strikes a chord with .... "listening to student voices."

One of the reports is titled: Listening to Student Voices -- on Technology. Tech-savvy students stuck in text-dominated schools: A summary of available research on student attitudes, perceptions, and behavior on technology and its current and potential role in K-12 education.

Here are a few of the takeaways from this report:
Finding #1: Computer and Internet Use is Growing. Nothing too surpising here...

  • Between the ages of 13 and 17 they are spending more time using digital media than watching television.
  • In 2004, 93.4 of college students owned a computer.
  • Laptop ownership has now surpassed desktop ownership for entering college freshman.
  • For kids in grades 6-12:
  • 80% have an email address and 22 percent have four or more email addresses.
  • 76% have one Instant Messaging (IM) screen name and 26% have four or more screen names.
  • 78% go online regularly and almost 94% of those kids have used the Internet for school or research projects.
Finding #2: Students are sophisticated users.
  • Generally speaking, I think it is safe to say (from the reported research) that students generally consider themselves to be more tech-savvy than their teachers.
  • Younger students tend to be more avid and rapid learners and adopters of using technology, and older kids tend to be more sophisticated users or use the technology at a deeper level.
  • Students who have Internet access at home believe that they have significant advantages over their peers who have little or no access.
Finding #3: Technology is important to students' education.
  • 71% (ages 12-17) said they used Internet sources most frequently in their last big report for school.
  • Only 10% say their first choice would be to visit a library to find a book on a subject.
  • 91% in grades 7-12 say that technology helps them complete their school assignments. They also say that using the Internet improves their motivation to learn and improves their academic performance.
  • Students say that math teachers are least likely to use the Internet as part of instruction.
There are a total of 15 findings in this report. I will continue to post more of the highlights over the next week or so.

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