Students Talk About Reading Online and Off

In class today, I’d planned time for a brief discussion on the future of newspapers. (We’re in the middle of a folktale unit where we’re taking folktales and transforming them into comic strips, news stories, crime reports, modern day adaptations, and obituaries.) I asked students how many of them thought they would be likely to subscribe to a daily newspaper when they grew up. About 70% of the hands went up, which took me aback a bit. I asked students why they thought they would prefer (or already do prefer) reading their news in print instead of online. As they started talking, I realized how relevant some of their comments were to the discussions I’m having with other teachers and ed tech types. So out came the Flip and I captured the rest of the conversation…

A few notes…The audio quality isn’t great in the first 30 seconds or so, but it gets better. These are 6th grade students at an independent 1:1 tablet school. I edited a couple minutes outto get the video under 100MB, but that mostly consisted of laughing and bad transitions across the room.

As important as I think it is to have these kinds of discussions about reading, writing, research, digital technology, etc. with adults and do research on these issues, I also think it’s important to talk to our kids and listen to them.

If you don’t have access to YouTube, the video is also available on the English Companion Ning

There were lots of questions I would have loved to ask but didn’t get to…

  • Would you be willing to pay for news content online?
  • What if you could interact with computers in a way that looks more like what Pranav Mistry has demonstrated?
  • What can we as teachers do to help reduce the distractions for you online?

One thought on “Students Talk About Reading Online and Off

  1. “I think the newspaper is more like for old folks…” Oh, that Lincoln is making me feel as old as, well, Lincoln!

    Interesting balance of boys-girls– it seems as though there are many more boys?

    Rachel: “The one time I was able to get a hold of a newspaper….” One time?

    Unfortunately, the video kept buffering, so I didn’t get through much more of the tape.

    It is so interesting to hear their perspectives about paper vs. screen. We tend to spend time teaching kids how to navigate print, and little to no time talking about screen/visual design & how to work with that.

    Do you think you could please tape the funky folk dance on Friday?



    PS Your kids are deee-licious!

    PPS And besides smelling gross, it feels gross. Ick.

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