Comparing findings: New Pew Internet report and our middle school studies
A new Pew Internet report came out yesterday. Generations 2010 looks primarily at the Internet uses of adults from ages 18+, dividing the population into traditional generational chunks. However, in some areas, the report looks at the uses of teenagers ages 12-17 as well. In comparing their report to our findings we see some similarities and a few surprising differences in what our young teenagers report.
In one of two major research projects, TechEdges is collecting data through surveys, interviews and focus groups from students, teachers and leaders in middle school settings to find out just how students are using technology both in and out of school. One area looks specifically at activities being undertaken by these preteens and young teens, ages approximately 11-14. Thus far data has been collected from two sites.
The first site, Saguaro MS, was surveyed in May 2009. It is one of two middle schools in the district. The rural school district serves a 74% Hispanic, 20% African-American, 7% White, 1.5% Asian, and .3% Native American student population. Seventy-four percent of the students are economically disadvantaged and 12% have Limited English Proficiency. Saguaro MS is representative of the district’s demographics.
The second site, Porter MS, was surveyed in May 2010. It is one of 22 middle schools in a medium sized metropolitan school district. Porter MS itself sits in an affluent neighborhood. However, due to unique transfer guidelines many of its students come from considerably less affluent neighborhoods around the city. Porter MS serves 40% Hispanic, 9.5% African-American, 47.9% White and 1.5 Asian. Approximately 39% of the students are economically disadvantaged.