National School Boards reports on social networking

The National School Boards Associaton just published a study called CREATING & CONNECTING//Research and Guidelines on Online Social—and Educational—Networking as a PDF file.

The study was comprised of three surveys: an online survey of 1,277 nine- to 17-year-old students, an online survey of 1,039 parents and telephone interviews with 250 school district leaders who make decisions on Internet policy.

According the the NSBA Media Advisory on the report, these are the key findings:

  • 96 percent of students with online access use social networking technologies, such as chatting, text messaging, blogging, and visiting online communities such as Facebook, MySpace, and Webkinz. Further, students report that one of the most common topics of conversation on the social networking scene is education.
  • Nearly 60 percent of online students report discussing education-related topics such as college or college planning, learning outside of school, and careers and 50 percent of online students say they talk specifically about schoolwork.
  • Students report spending almost as much time using social network services and Web sites as they spend watching television. Among teens who use social networking sites, that amounts to about 9 hours a week online, compared to 10 hours a week watching television.
  • 96 percent of school districts say that at least some of their teachers assign homework requiring Internet use.

With almost 100% of today’s students reporting that they use online technology such as social networking, chatting, texting, and blogging the NSBA has some observations and recommendations for education and educators.

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