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New from Pew: How Teens do Research in the Digital World

teenscomputers 300x226 New from Pew: How Teens do Research in the Digital WorldThis morning, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project released How Teens Do Research in the Digital World.

This one really speaks to the need for digital literacy skills and the type of instruction we are all about.

Conducted by Pew, in collaboration with the College Board and the National Writing Project, the survey revealed that though of Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers  believed that digital search tools have a mostly positive impact on student research, they had serious concerns about student distraction, their use of a narrower range of resources, their expectations of quick answers, and their difficulty finding credible sources.

The results point to the need for digital literacy in the curriculum.

According to the study’s summary:

  • 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.
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Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is the teacher-librarian at Springfield Township High School, a technology writer, and a blogger. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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