My Students’ Digital Lives: What Data Shows

A MiddleWeb Blog

Working_Draft-final-logoYou may know that Digital Learning Day is an annual event held in February around the country, where teachers and educational leaders take stock of their students as learners with, and of, technology through a variety of activities and reflections.

The day is sponsored by a handful of technology education companies and educational organizations, so one should approach such a “celebration” cautiously.

Even so, I find that this particular event gives me space to take a step back and think about my sixth graders through the lens of their digital lives.

Our State of Technology survey

Every year I have my four classes of young students take part in our annual State of Technology and Media survey, which I’ve created in Google Docs. (Feel free to grab a copy of the survey and remix it for your own needs. Watch the VT below for more survey details).


This year, as part of the Digital Learning Day events, I put the results of our survey into Voicethread and “talked” through some observations and reflections about the data collected by our work. Similar discussions also played out in the classroom. My sharing of the results kicks off our own two-week Digital Life unit that centers on privacy, digital identity, digital footprints, cyberbullying and more.

I invite you to listen in and add your own observations, either directly at the Voicethread (which is a powerful tool) or in the comment sections here. Or both. What are you “noticing” in your own students’ behaviors with technology in and out of school? What kinds of conversations do you have with students around digital media? How about with parents? Other colleagues?

Digital Learning Day does not have to be a single day, and it shouldn’t be. Every day should be a digital learning day of some sort.

Kevin Hodgson

Kevin Hodgson is a sixth grade teacher in Southampton MA and outreach coordinator for the Western Massachusetts Writing Project. An aspiring writer and former newspaper journalist, Kevin believes that all students are writers and that writing is one of the most fundamental means of understanding the world. His views around literacy include interaction within the digital world, meeting students on common ground, and helping them make the shift from passive consumers to active creators and collaborators. He is a co-editor of Teaching the New Writing: Technology, Change and Assessment in the 21st Century and blogs regularly at Kevin’s Meandering Mind. He can also be found on Twitter as @dogtrax.

2 Responses

  1. MiddleWeb says:

    We’d encourage everyone to listen to Kevin’s commentary, either in the post or at the Voicethread site (where you can see the graphics a bit better). His reflections on the data offer a big “value-added” to this post!

  2. Leslie Snow says:

    Creative use of Voicethread…thanks for sharing your results with us. I totally agree that every day should be a digital learning day!

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