Posts Tagged ‘students’
It’s always revealing to watch learners research. When trying to understand complex questions often as part of multi-step projects, they often simply “Google it.” Why do people migrate? Google it. Where does inspiration come from? Google it. How do different cultures view humanity differently? Google it. Literally Google it. Type those questions word-for-word into the Google search box and hope for answers. Educators cringe, but to the students it makes sense. And if you think about it, this is actually helpful – a rare opportunity for transparency into the mind of a student. When your formative years are spent working your fingers through apps and iPads, smartphones and YouTube, the digital world and its habits can bend and shape not just how you access information, but how you conceptualize it entirely. You see information differently–something that’s always accessible. And you see knowledge as searchable, even though that’s not how it works.
New research by Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer demonstrates that students who write out their notes on paper actually learn more. Across three experiments, Mueller and Oppenheimer had students take notes in a classroom setting and then tested students on their memory for factual detail, their conceptual understanding of the material, and their ability to synthesize and generalize the information. Half of the students were instructed to take notes with a laptop, and the other half were instructed to write the notes out by hand. As in other studies, students who used laptops took more notes. In each study, however, those who wrote out their notes by hand had a stronger conceptual understanding and were more successful in applying and integrating the material than those who used took notes with their laptops.
Since 2004, ECAR has partnered with higher education institutions to investigate the technologies that matter most to students by exploring technology ownership, use patterns, and perceptions of technology among undergraduate students. In 2013, the ECAR technology survey was sent to approximately 1.6 million students at 251 college/university sites, yielding 113,035 respondents across 13 countries. This year’s findings are organized into four main themes to help educators and higher education institutions better understand students’ current experiences:
- Students’ relationship with technology is complex—they recognize its value but still need guidance when it comes to better using it for academics.
- Students prefer blended learning environments while beginning to experiment with MOOCs.
- Students are ready to use their mobile devices more for academics, and they look to institutions and instructors for opportunities and encouragement to do so.
- Students value their privacy, and using technology to connect with them has its limits.
These themes not only inform us about undergraduate students’ opinions concerning technology, but they can also provide insight about the technology needs and expectations of tomorrow.
ECAR has surveyed undergraduate students annually since 2004 about technology in higher education. In 2012, ECAR collaborated with 195 institutions to collect responses from more than 100,000 students about their technology experiences. The findings are distilled into the broad thematic message for institutions and educators to balance strategic innovation with solid delivery of basic institutional services and pedagogical practices and to know students well enough to understand which innovations they value the most. See the 2012 report for a full list key messages, findings, and supporting data.
- Blended-learning environments are the norm; students say that these environments best support how they learn.
- Students want to access academic progress information and course material via their mobile devices, and institutions deliver.
- Technology training and skill development for students is more important than new, more, or “better” technology.
- Students use social networks for interacting with friends more than for academic communication.
Text messaging explodes as teens embrace it as the centerpiece of their communication strategies with friends. Cell phones are not just about calling or texting – with expanding functionality, phones have become multimedia recording devices and pocket-sized internet-connected computers. Cell phones are seen as a mixed blessing. Parents and teens say phones make their lives safer and more convenient. Yet both also cite new tensions connected to cell phone use. Cell phones help bridge the digital divide by providing internet access to less privileged teens.
Text messaging has become the primary way that teens reach their friends, surpassing face-to-face contact, email, instant messaging and voice calling as the go-to daily communication tool for this age group. However, voice calling is still the preferred mode for reaching parents for most teens.
College students summarize educational technology in the single act of using cellphones, not all of them of course but the majority do. Everywhere you turn to you see students deeply engaged in using their phones, some are hooking up a kit to talk while walking , others are immersed into their mobile screens reading and exchanging text messages. Is this annoying to teachers and college staff? Is is a healthy practice on a college campus ? Well, I will let you use your common sense to answer those questions.
Students are different today because of technology. Every educator knows this, of course, but this change is about much more than agile thumbs, shriveling attention spans, and OMG’d vocabularies. According the Pew Research Center, the combination of widespread access to broadband Internet connectivity, the popularity of social networking, and the near ubiquity of mobile computing is producing a fundamentally new kind of learner, one that is self-directed, better equipped to capture information, more reliant on feedback from peers, more inclined to collaborate, and more oriented toward being their own “nodes of production.”
I’ve always been interested in inquiry based learning and the opportunities that providing different spaces or different tools can do for expanding outside of normative ways of classroom production.
What are the connections between social affordances and identity and learning? If we do bring tools into classrooms, it has to come from that angle first, because that’s the human angle.
If you change schools to emphasize youth as creators, you are going to see different kinds of products. If you allow youth to be genre creators and not just reproducers, I think you’d see a lot of innovation.
Youth and teachers have so many creative resources that they bring to these spaces that aren’t really valued or allowed…it’s like this stop gap — you’re not supposed to bring in the digital tools that you have, you’re not supposed to bring in your interests or relationships…these are incredible resources. I think it’s more dire that we’re not allowing those resources in.