Troy Hicks, whose books about digital writing and connected reading are must-reads for any teacher, has written a great post for Digital Writing Month about the role that Infographics are now playing in our reading and writing lives — and how the visual shaping of data has the potential to surface stories. I was thinking of Troy’s post when I came across the results of an extensive survey of pre-teens (tweens) and teenagers by CommonSense Media about the role of technology and digital media in their lives.
You can access the entire report and key findings at the CommonSense Media site. It makes for a fascinating read. The infographic at the side here breaks down the findings into more visual understandings.
What jumped out at me in the findings?
How about the balance between the ways in which students “consume media” versus the time they spend “creating media”?
Only three percent of their time is doing, making, creating? Let me write/say/shout that out again: ONLY THREE PERCENT OF TEENS REPORT CREATING THINGS WITH THEIR TECHNOLOGY. (Sorry. Didn’t mean to shout. But it is important.)
We need to change that. We all need to do a better job of putting tools of making and creating into the hands of students. We need to empower agency. We need to show students that being passive recipients of information (including targeted advertising based on technology habits) is not enough.
When I am asked why I spend so much time with Making Learning Connected MOOC or Digital Writing Month, or any of the other online ventures that I find myself intrigued by, my answer to the question of why is direct:
I want to discover more ways to engage my students — those 11 year olds growing up in a world in the midst of significant change — as active creators.
So, we design video games. We produce sound stories. We make comics. We collaborate.
Much of this I learned from doing myself with other teachers, trying out new things and tinkering with technology. We need spaces for us to create and compose, too. I wonder what the results of this survey question would be if we asked teachers the same question?
Do you consume? Or do you create?
Speaking of creating, the activity with Troy’s post asks us to make an infographic. I did this one, about a typical writing morning (like right now, in fact)
Peace (in the think),