Each year, I give a survey to my sixth graders about their use of technology and social media as one entry point into a unit we call Digital Life. I also share the compiled results back with families, too, so they have a sense of trends with technology.
Here are the results of this year’s survey:
A few observations:
- The amount of time that kids spend on technology is certainly continuing to grow over time, moving pretty solidly into the two/three/more hours a day. This echoes the results of a lot of official surveys of this age group.
- More and more of my students have Smart Phone, meaning parents are spending a lot of money not just for the phones, but also for the services.
- Facebook has seen another sharp decline among my sixth graders while Instagram grows at a steady rate for this age group.
- Snapchat continues to be popular and growing.
- Fewer students say they have had negative experiences in online spaces than in years past, and this reflects a trend in my surveys. Good news there.
- More and more students indicate that parents and teachers have had explicit discussions with them about using technology. Another piece of good news.
This is a small sample, of a narrow population group, but for me, I find it valuable as a way to talk about their footprints in the digital world, and what it all means — both in positive terms (connections, sharing, creating) and negative terms (harassment, bullying, privacy). It’s all about the balance.
Peace (in the numbers),