Monday, October 17, 2011

Our Kids are Wired Differently

Elizabeth Murphy in Booting Down on how students use technology. A few of the pieces I find interesting:

  1. library as refuge – I still think we need to re-think how are libraries are structured and setup
  2. students have figured out how to use these devices, technology and social media to study and work – unfortunately, in the classroom, it's like getting on a plane: "turn all your devices off and get ready for takeoff" – we need to learn from this generation of students and figure out how to integrate technology into the teaching and learning.
  3. I'm really fascinated by the idea of rewards and incentives – finish reading the chapter and I get to spend some time on Facebook. I'm not sure how we integrate that into the classroom – get an 80% or better on this week's quiz and you get a five-minute Facebook break? Not sure about this one – what do you think?

Walk through any campus library and you see students hunkered down in their preferred corner or comfy chair with their laptops and cell phones in hand to aid in the process of cramming for their next exam. But are they studying or goofing off? Are they capable of actually staying on (work-related) task?

While these students are tech-savvy and have plenty of gizmos, they may not be as distracted by these technologies as some may think, according to a University of Washington study,"Balancing Act: How College Students Manage Technology While in the Library during Crunch Time,"by Alison Head and Michael Eisenberg. The study reveals that students are taking to the library as a place of refuge -- and their laptops and cell phones aren’t necessarily the peskydistractionssomeassumethem to be.

“It’s not a multitasking study,” said Head, a research scientist at the University of Washington’s Information School. “It’s a study about how students are managing the ubiquitous technology in their lives.”

Thestudyincludes interviews with 560 students at 10 different institutions — ranging from four-year universities to community colleges — who were studying in their libraries for final exams last spring. Results showed that students take a “less is more” approach when exam pressure starts bearing down. Students use technology to help them study and to communicate with others, the report found. And students are using the library less for its traditional resources — books, journals, etc. — and more as a place to get away from the hectic world around them.

But the study suggests students actually study — and not just update Facebook pages, instant message and play their favorite Pandora stations.

The study’s key findings included:

  • 85 percent only had 1 or 2 information technology (IT) devices running when interviewed
  • 61 percent only had 1 or 2 websites open and in use, most of which were being used for course work
  • 81 percent checked for new messages such as email messages or Facebook
  • 65 percent said they used social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, to coordinate study sessions or group work.

Many of the students said they used incentive benchmarks while working on their work. For example, one student said if she read 25 pages of her materials, she would give herself a short Facebook break.

“It belies conventional wisdom that all students are always on; that they are jumping from gaming and then a sports site or the YouTube videos about cats,” Head said. “That’s not happening when times are most intense, and that’s interesting because it makes us question assumptions a lot of faculty have and a lot of parents have about students and their technology use.”

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...