Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Survey Says

Today, in English class, we discussed how teachers in schools think that students' ability to significantly changing due to our daily use of technology.

It was inspired by this article from the New York Times. Essentially, the article said this: a survey that went to schools around the country, teachers everywhere regardless of teaching experience and age felt that students were requiring more and more entertaining to stay engaged in the classroom.  The teachers all felt that this was due to digital technology. 

From the article:

"The surveys also found that many teachers said technology could be a useful educational tool. In the Pew survey, which was done in conjunction with the College Board and the National Writing Project, roughly 75 percent of 2,462 teachers surveyed said that the Internet and search engines had a “mostly positive” impact on student research skills. And they said such tools had made students more self-sufficient researchers.
But nearly 90 percent said that digital technologies were creating “an easily distracted generation with short attention spans.”
Similarly, of the 685 teachers surveyed in the Common Sense project, 71 percent said they thought technology was hurting attention span “somewhat” or “a lot.” About 60 percent said it hindered students’ ability to write and communicate face to face, and almost half said it hurt critical thinking and their ability to do homework."
Surveys are kind of fascinating things for me.  When I'm asked to evaluate a product, I usually get the following options: extremely dissatisfied, very dissatisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, neutral, somewhat satisfied, very satisfied, extremely satisfied.

When I read the internet has a "mostly positive" effect, I instantly see a lot of teachers marking the "somewhat satisfied" box.  It's not a good thing.  It's just better than a neutral thing.  That's not saying much.

Likewise, the difference between "somewhat" and "a lot" are pretty different as well.  It's the difference between a happy customer and an "eh" customer.

Then again, I'll just trust that the people who did the survey ran through all the statistical information to make sure it's significant.  We know stats aren't my forte.

On another slightly related note, one of my English students told me she liked me hair but told me that statistically women cut their hair when they go through a break up.  And also that statistically older women like their hair short. 

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