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Saturday, November 3, 2012

PEW Internet & American Life Project

The Pew Research Center is a non-partisan fact tank--operating under Section 501(c)(3) of the International Revenue Service code--that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping American and the world. I stumbled across this really amazing site from one of the resources I was directed to on my quest to clarify the exact meaning (if one exists) of Information Literacy last week. For the purposes of my 285 research class, I'm mostly interested in the Pew Internet & American Life Project.


This 115 page report is a survey of Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers who found that teens' research are changing in the digital age. Of course this isn't anything new to argument I'm currently looking at involving both sides of the net-gener debate BUT what's interesting about this particular piece is the extensive research that is both current and very comprehensive.

Retrieved from: http://pewresearch.org/
I am so very excited about this particular study--hot off the presses, published only two days ago. A quick summary of findings of some of the really fascinating heading topics that hit my research questions DEAD ON:

  1. The internet and digital technologies are significantly impacting how students conduct research: 77% of these teachers say the overall impact is “mostly positive,” but they sound many cautionary notes
  2. The internet has changed the very meaning of “research” (see the graphic left)
  3. Most teachers encourage online research, including the use of digital technologies such as cell phones to find information quickly, yet point to barriers in the school environment impeding quality online research
  4. Teachers give students’ research skills modest ratings
  5. Most teachers give students modest ratings of “good” or “fair” when it comes to specific research skills
  6. A richer information environment, but at the price of distracted students?
I'm so excited. This is the keystone piece that's going to glue all my research together regarding today's youth and their information literacy skills.

More to Read
Technology Changing How Students Learn, Teachers Say by Matt Richtel (New York Times): November 1, 2012

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