At the beginning of the school year I had each of my students take a technology survey the first time they logged onto Moodle. I wanted to know what they already knew about technology and how it influenced their education and after-school activities. Since those first days of school, a few other teachers have used the same survey and many of us have found similar results.
Here are some of the highlights.
- 79% of my students have Internet access at home (this is up from about 60% two years ago).
- 60% of my students have profiles on social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook.
- When asked who knows the most about computers in their family the most commonly chosen response was, “Me” (37%).
- The five most common reasons for accessing the Internet at home were
- Surfing the Web (76%)
- Chatting with Friends (66%)
- Downloading Music (66%)
- Gaming (65%)
- Working on School Assignments (64%)
Notice where school work ranks…
- 23% of my students currently are posting videos online (Mainly YouTube and ALL of them are self-taught)
- And my favorite….80% of my students like using computers at school.
From what my students told me after the survey they wished that more teachers would use computers. I have also been asked multiple times this year why students don’t check out laptops instead of textbooks. One girl in my second period class even commented, “I mean it would be more useful.” (I agree!)
For these reasons and more, according to my students, some of the highlights from this year (so far) have been working on Moodle, blogging as a class, creating a wiki textbook, documenting experiments with cell phone cameras, and using CPS units. Amazing how workbook pages and review sheets haven’t been at the top of their list!?!?
For the most part I teach in a typical American middle school with very common demographics. Chances are your kids would respond the same way. Just to make sure try asking! It might change the way you teach. I know I am rethinking things.