(This is part of the Slice of Life project at Two Writing Teachers)
Yesterday, my students and I were reading aloud Time for Kids in class, which we do quite often for understanding non-fiction text and also to engage in discussion about world events and issues. The cover story in the magazine was about the amount of time that young people spend with media — television, mobile devices, gaming systems, etc.
We had some pretty interesting discussions about the emergence of technology in the lives of young people, including some debate about whether schools should allow cell phones into classrooms (my students: a resounding “no” because of distractions) and whether having the television on while doing homework is a good idea or not. What about music?
Since the TFK article used a recent survey by the Kaiser Foundation as its basis, I decided on a spur of the moment to survey my own students on a few of the same questions.
The questions were:
- Do you have a television in your bedroom?
- Do you have your own cell phone?
- Do you have an MP3 player/iPod?
- How many computers do you have in your household?
Here are our results. Click on the photo to get a bigger image.
(I used an online graph generator for showing our results, which are shown as percentages. But I can’t figure out why the graph has a 120 as one of the top lines, and there was no clear way for me to remove that data point.)
I guess it’s not surprising that 94 percent own a music device, but it was interesting how many (35 percent) have more than three computers (including laptops) in the house. Not one student did not have any computers at all.
The Kaiser study found that young people average about 7 hours of media/screen time per day. That includes Wii and gaming systems, computer work, mobile devices, and more. My students thought that was a bit excessive and while I did not ask them how many hours they do spend, my guess would be about three hours (based on conversations I have had with them).
Peace (in the data),