by Kristen Purcell, Lee Rainie, Alan Heaps, Judy Buchanan, Linda Friedrich, Amanda Jacklin, Clara Chen, Kathryn Zickuhr
Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project
The teachers who instruct the most advanced American secondary school students render mixed verdicts about students’ research habits and the impact of technology on their studies.
Some 77% of advanced placement (AP) and National Writing Project (NWP) teachers surveyed say that the internet and digital search tools have had a “mostly positive” impact on their students’ research work. But 87% say these technologies are creating an “easily distracted generation with short attention spans” and 64% say today’s digital technologies “do more to distract students than to help them academically.”
According to this survey of teachers, conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project in collaboration with the College Board and the National Writing Project, the internet has opened up a vast world of information for today’s students, yet students’ digital literacy skills have yet to catch up:
Virtually all (99%) AP and NWP teachers in this study agree with the notion that “the internet enables students to access a wider range of resources than would otherwise be available,” and 65% agree that “the internet makes today’s students more self-sufficient researchers.”
At the same time, 76% of teachers surveyed “strongly agree” with the assertion that internet search engines have conditioned students to expect to be able to find information quickly and easily.
Large majorities also agree with the notion that the amount of information available online today is overwhelming to most students (83%) and that today’s digital technologies discourage students from using a wide range of sources when conducting research (71%).
Fewer teachers, but still a majority of this sample (60%), agree with the assertion that today’s technologies make it harder for students to find credible sources of information.
Given these concerns, it is not surprising that 47% of these teachers strongly agree and another 44% somewhat believe that courses and content focusing on digital literacy should be incorporated into every school’s curriculum.
ABOUT THE SURVEY Sigue leyendo
by Greg Sterling
Roughly 100 million people in the US search for health information on a monthly basis, according to 2011 comScore data. Google has seen these queries up close and recently concluded that it doesn’t do a great job of servicing them. The company is thus introducing improved results that shorten the time from symptom-related search to discovery of potential medical causes and conditions.
Google Chief Health Strategist Roni Zeiger, MD, says the company sees users search on health symptoms and then almost immediately turn around and search for conditions they discovered in those initial search results. As a consequence Google is now going to “compress” that two or three-step process into one. Zeiger explains in a blog post this morning announcing the new symptom-related search results:
To make the process easier, now when you search for a symptom or set of symptoms, you’ll often see a list of possibly related health conditions that you can use to refine your search. The list is generated by our algorithms that analyze data from pages across the web and surface the health conditions that appear to be related to your search.
Below are a couple of “before and after” examples for “headache” and “trouble breathing and tired” to illustrate the change. The “after” screenshots were provided by Google.
By Todd Ogasawara
What Do People Who Send 200+ Text Messages & 30+ Voice Calls Per Day Have to Say?
The Pew Internet and American Life Project released another report of interest to gadget fans.
Cell phones and American adults (available online & PDF download)
Flowtown.com turned Pew’s numberes into a series of easy to understand pie charts and bar graphs.
How Are Adults Using Mobile Phones?
Some interesting items that pop out of the report and graphics?
- 18% of people 18 to 24 years old send more than 200 text messages per day
- This heavy texting (200+ per day) drops to 3% for people 25 to 29 years old
- Heavy text users do not text exclusively. In fact, they also make a lot of voice calls. 26% of heavy text messegers make 31 or more voice calls per day
What is it these people text and say in all of these messages every day?