Sunday, February 07, 2010

Facts about the internet and using ICT for learning

There  are some amazing facts about the internet and it's growth over the last year - many of them come from Royal Pingdoms Internet 2009 in numbers such as number of people using the internet grew by 18% over the year.  Many of them confirm things we already know such as that it’s mainly women who like to use the internet for communicating – 84% of social networking sites have more female members than male.  While some are just outright shocking – 81% of the 90 trillion emails sent were spam.  In fact 90 billion emails sent in a year sounds like a hell of a lot but if you ignore the spam and divide up the rest between the number of Email users then it comes out at just 33.4 per day, or 234 per week.  Not all that many when you look at most office workers in-boxes. Then there’s the less interesting bits you pick up here and there – if you print out Twitter it would reach 2 and a half times around the world – rather less if you only printed the bits you would want to read.  Don’t get me wrong Twitter is great but not in the main populated with anything you’d want to keep for any longer than until you get around to reading the article on the end of the Link.


Where things do start to get interesting is looking at the latest reports from the Pew internet and American life project found that 55% of 18 to 29 year olds are accessing the internet from their mobile phones, as are 27% of 12 to 17 year olds.  I don’t have UK data for the UK at my fingertips but I’m certainly that’s it’s significantly lower than 27% for that age group over here.


Then there’s the obvious.  In this BBC article the author seems surprised that young people are more likely to use computers for learning at home than at School.  Why wouldn’t they, they are at School for only about 25% of the day for 5 out of 7 days in a week and generally have better access to technology at home in term of person / computer ratio.  Mind you that’s not to say that the learning done at home is all that exciting.  This report for Becta found that young people generally use their home ICT for checking with friends what the homework is, and using word processors and presentation packages.  This report also suggests that contributing to social media – e.g. blogging, is pretty low among the under 17s in line with the Pew findings that it stands at around 14% in the  US although that reports suggest this is around half 2006 levels. Again I doubt if it were ever so high in the UK.