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Monday, August 20, 2007

Creating & Connecting: Research and Guidelines on Online Social and Educational Networking

Ninety-six percent of U.S. students ages 9 to 17 who have internet access use social-networking technology to connect with their peers, and one of their most common topics of discussion is education, according to a new survey.
A remarkable 96% of students with online access report that they have ever used some form of social networking technology, according to a new study from the National School Boards Association. That includes activities such as text messaging, chatting and blogging as well as participating in online communities such as Facebook or sites designed specifically for younger children, such as Webkins.
More than 70% say that they use social networking tools at least once a week. The 9-to 17-year-olds surveyed spent almost as much time using social networking services and Web sites as they spent watching television, about 9 hours a week online, compared to 10 hours a week watching television. And unlike TV, these teens and tweens are behaving creatively when online, uploading photos or artwork they have created or videos they have made. And it's not just all music and video sharing. Nearly 60% of online students report discussing education-related topics such as college or college planning, learning outside of school, and careers. And 50%of online students say they talk specifically about schoolwork.
The report, "Creating & Connecting: Research and Guidelines on Online Social and Educational Networking," is based on three surveys: an online survey of nearly 1,300 9- to 17-year-olds, an online survey of more than 1,000 parents, and telephone interviews with 250 school districts leaders who make decisions on Internet policy.