Monday, 24 November 2008

Online time is beneficial for teens, says report

This is one of those reports that will either make your heart sink, or leave you with a feeling of smug justification that those fuddy duddy adults don't really know what's going on in the lives of the young.

A three year American study, called the Digital Youth Study, which took an ethnographical approach to teenage online usage, has concluded that teenagers now use Web 2.0 socially based content and content creation software to define themselves, develop friendships and communities, and facilitate peer-based learning experiences.

The interesting aspect for those of us looking at ways to enhance learning in secondary schools is how little this technology has crept into the educational environment, as well as how diverse the knowledge and skills bases are amongst students.

Here's an interview with the lead researcher Mizuko Ito.


In July a report from the University of Nottingham came to similar conclusions. It had spent 18 months investigating the use of Web 2.0 technology in secondary schools. Its findings were that students who used Web 2.0 were mainly doing so outside of school time, and were not integrating it into their learning. 

It's something we're keen to address at Berkhamsted School and hope to integrate Web 2.0 into our curriculum over the coming months. 

Certainly, there's no doubting the fact that students are accessing information in a radically different way to that of their predecessors, even five years ago. The challenge, and it is an exciting one, is to maintain the best practice that teachers are using now and blend it with an appropriate range of complementary and accessible technological tools. 

We live, as the saying says, in interesting times.


Susie Richardson said...

I am interested in all of this! I never knew that when I was researching for my homework online, i was hypothetically exercising my brain, and making it "younger".

I look forward to being introduced to Web 2.0 at school also :)

Hannah said...

Hey Mr V.S

I personally couldn't live without the internet, not only because of Facebook etc.
But, for intellectual needs aswell.
For example in Media today, you may have noticed our film is called L'Odovico, Italian for 'The Unknown'. How did we know this....Google Language Tools...!
I also love having my homepage set to the BBC website.
Before clicking onto the Facebook link, i always have a browse, at news, tv etc. Because in the evening, i don't have time to watch the 10 O'clock news and enjoy reading the occasional story on the website, i also prefer the way the BBC writes stories compared to others such as ITV or Channel 4, little interesting fact about me!
One of the first things i noticed about Berkhamsted was the way that the internet or some sort of digital using is always incorporated into lessons, and i think this is the way forward. Teachers know that when students go home they will log onto Msn and Facebook. So why not incorporate part of this into lessons, it makes them more interesting and we can relate more to what is happening.
Especially in Media, i love using the computers as i find it easier to work on than writing on paper!
P.S. have managed to
1) Embed TWO videos on my blog
2) Create a web link!

Quite proud!