You might have seen this, but in July 2007, the National Schools Board Association published a report stating:
Online social networking is now so deeply embedded in the lifestyles of tweens and teens that it rivals television for their attention...Nine- to 17-year-olds report spending almost as much time using social networking services and Web sites as they spend watching television. Among teens, that amounts to about 9 hours a week on social networking activities,compared to about 10 hours a week watching TV.
Students are hardly passive couch potatoes online. Beyond basic communications, many students engage in highly creative activities on social networking sites...Overall, an astonishing 96 percent of students with online access report that they have ever used any social networking technologies, such as chatting, text messaging, blogging and visiting online communities, such as Facebook, MySpace and services designed specifically for younger children, such as Webkins and the chat sections of Nick.com (I've written about Nick before in Informal Learning at Nick.com.)
Eighty-one percent say they have visited a social networking Web site within the past three months and 71 percent say they use social networking tools at least weekly.
But here is the part that got me...
Students report that one of the most common topics of conversation on the social networking scene is education. Almost 60 percent of students who use social networking talk about education topics online and, surprisingly, more than 50 percent talk specifically about schoolwork.
So as schools struggle to eliminate technology from the hands of students, as I have written about before (Hire that Kid!) perhaps they should be looking at the positive aspects of the technology and deciding how to incorporate the technology into the curriculum in a meaningful and relevant manner.
Because the kids are already talking about school work with their friends and social network using these technologies which are...banned in schools...go figure.
Check out the full report for yourself:Creating & Connecting: Research and Guidelines on Online Social--And Educational--Networking.
I also imagine that in a corporate setting, the discussion of work related topics would be close to 110%...isn't it time your organizations adopted these tools...your kids are.
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