Posts by jbryson:
- 60,000+ Free Resources
- 350,000+ Products
- 1,400,000+ Users
- 50,000,000+ Page Views/Month
- $15,000,000+ Teacher Earnings
- Selling resources means teachers might not share what they typically would (for free)
- It reduces the value of what educators do
- There are potential copyright/ownership issues
- Sharing resources makes it so that teachers don’t have to constantly “reinvent the wheel”
- It allows teachers to make some extra money, especially when you consider that most teachers often spend their own money to purchase supplies and resources
- Teachers generally spend their own time creating lessons and therefore should be allowed to sell their own intellectual property
- 63.5% of educators now have a dedicated interactive whiteboard in their classroom
- The install base of IWBs in K-12 schools is about 1.471 million units.
- SMART (70.5%) is the brand leader in terms of units currently in use, followed by Promethean (28.7%), and Mimio (6.7%).
- The number of IWBs of any brand now installed in the average school is 19.8
- A strong majority (65.1%) of EMR’s survey sample said they use an IWB with their students every day, which would work out to about 20 times a month.
- Nearly half said they were “somewhat experienced/knowledgeable” (47.4%) regarding the IWB, while another 27.3% said they were “very experienced/knowledgeable.”
- According to the largest group of survey respondents (42.7%), they have their IWBs in use more than 5 hours a week. The average duration is 4.6 hours a week.
- In grades K-2, Mathematics (93.8%) and English/Language Arts (92.3%) get the most mentions for frequent IWB use.
- In grades 9-12, Mathematics (55.7%) is still number one, but Science (32.9%) and Social Studies (30.5%) come before English/Language Arts (26.3%).
- The largest group of respondents (45.9%) indicated that the majority of instructional resources they use with their IWB comes from their own imagination and ingenuity.
- 69.8% of teachers surveyed believe that IWB “is definitely here to stay, and its penetration will grow significantly over the next few years,” but also think that “pad-like devices” (57.3%) are the next “big thing”
- Two years from now, nearly nine out of ten educators expect to be using an IWB every day.
- IWBs were used in 29.5% of K-12 classrooms for at least 5.1 hours a day
- IWBs were found to have the most penetration of any recent tech device, with an average usage of over 70% in all major subject areas in elementary schools
- IWBs were reported to have a significant impact on student achievement by 60.7% of respondents in an MCH Strategic Data Survey
- IWBs are being used in all major subject areas, with the highest use in mathematics followed by reading/ELA
- A candle
- A book of matches
- A box of thumbtacks
- Group #1: told they would be timed to establish norms/average times for completion, no incentive
- Group #2: told they would receive money if they were in the top 25% fastest times and additionally would receive even more if they were the fastest
- If task only involved mechanical skill, bonuses worked as they would be expected: the higher the pay, the better the performance.
- If a task called for even rudimentary cognitive skill, a larger reward led to poorer performance.
- Those offered the medium level of rewards did no better than people offered the small rewards.
- People offered the highest rewards did the worst.
- Autonomy: the urge to direct our own lives.
- Mastery: the desire to get better and better at something that matters.
- Purpose: the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.
- People don’t have schedules – they show up when they want, they don’t have to be in the office at certain time or anytime
- They just have to get their work done; how they do it, when they do it, where they do it is totally up to them
- Meetings in these kinds of environments are optional
- Productivity goes up
- Worker engagement goes up
- Worker satisfaction goes up
- Turnover goes down
In recent news, a Georgia teacher made headlines for reportedly making over $1 million dollars selling educational resources on Teachers Pay Teachers. Teachers Pay Teachers - an open marketplace for educators, enables teachers to buy and sell original lesson plans (as well as used textbooks and other teaching resources). Started in 2006 by a former NY teacher, TpT states that they currently have:
Teachers Pay Teachers has also recently opened up their marketplace to publishers with the caveat: “Though hard to compete with our amazing teacher-authors, you are welcome to try.” As a result, we’ve recently launched several of our literacy products for sale on TpT. Teachers not only can purchase the resources, but they can review them for other teachers’ information.
While in my opinion, TpT (and sites like it) are great channels for teachers to both share their knowledge and to make a bit of well-deserved extra cash, this new trend of teacher-to-teacher marketplaces has also spawned debates about whether teachers should be allowed to sell their lesson plans and what implications of selling resources may have on the teacher community.
Those against the trend state that:
Those in support of the trend state that:
What do you think?
A popular trend this year has been the emergence of more and more BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs/initiatives in K-12 education. These programs, similar to those already relatively commonplace in both the business world and in higher education, are based on the idea that students bring in their own personally owned devices (e.g., laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.) to school for the purpose of learning.
With a generation of K-12 students who tend to be highly tech-savvy and in an age of ever-dwindling budgets, it’s easy to see how BYOD programs have been gaining momentum, but not everyone seems to think BYOD programs are the wave of the future, or even a good idea.
Here is a quick round-up of some pros and cons:
Sources and Other Resources:
Interactive whiteboards (IWBs) are becoming more and more common in the classroom. These devices, comprised of a large display (which look a lot like traditional whiteboards) and a projector that is hooked up to a computer, were first introduced by SMART in 1991. While these devices have been around for more than 20 years, it is only in recent years that they have seen a particular boom in growth.
The National Survey of Interactive Whiteboard Usage: 2011 (Education Market Research) - this survey of 18,000 educators was conducted Spring 2011 and included teachers and principals at the elementary, middle/junior high, and senior high levels). Key findings from this report included:
K-12 Tech Tools and Trends 2012 report (Simba Information) - this report was built around an MCH Strategic Data survey send out to school district educators, administrators, and technology directors who are responsible for implementing technology in the classroom). Key findings from this report included:
In 2011, Futuresource Consulting Ltd. estimated global penetration of IWBs at 9% (as of 2010 data) and that the market grew 15% in 2010. I’m curious to see whether this technology will continue to grow rapidly in the classroom setting or whether it will be eclipsed by smaller (and increasingly cheaper), personal devices such as iPads and other tablet-like devices.
Educational Publishing – Survey Reveals How Educators Really Use Interactive White Boards
Simba Information – National Survey of Interactive Whiteboard Usage (see Description)
Marketwire – Interactive Whiteboards Used in 29.5% of Classrooms for At Least 5.1 Hours a Day: Simba Information
eBeam Rocks! – Interactive Whiteboards Taking Over Classrooms
SMART – SMART 2011 Annual Report
K-12TechDecisions – The Mainstreaming of Interactive Whiteboards in the Classroom
Note: The two main reports referenced in this blog post were not accessible for free public viewing, but key findings were reported on a number of websites.
Daniel Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (2009), gave a fascinating presentation at the 2009 TEDGlobal conference, about motivation and the “mismatch between what science knows and what business does.” He suggests that current business environments rely too heavily on extrinsic motivators (such as financial rewards), which can actually result in negative or reverse effects on behavior and performance, rather than focusing on what science tells us, which is that by fostering peoples’ intrinsic motivation (individual needs and desires), they often perform better and are more personally satisfied.
Here are the highlights of his presentation (the video is about 20 minutes):
DUNCKER’S CANDLE PROBLEM
Task: Attach the candle to the wall so that the wax doesn’t drip on the table.
Solution:Most people figure out eventually that they can use the box that the tacks came in to act as a platform for the candle.
The Key: To overcome functional fixedness, which Duckner defines as being “a mental block against using an object in a new way that is required to solve a problem” (1945).
In 1962, Sam Glucksberg did this same experiment and told participants he was going to time them. In his experiment, he used two groups:
The Results: Those who were given the option of a monetary reward took 3.5 minutes LONGER.
Glucksberg also did another variation of this experiment, in which the incentivized group now outperformed the non-incentivized group. Why? The tacks were presented outside of the box, thus simplifying the task so that there is an obvious solution.
Significance: Pink points out that “If-then rewards work really well for those sorts of tasks, where there is a simple set of rules and a clear destination to go to,” but most of the tasks we face in today’s business world are more like the original candle problem, where we are required to think outside of the box to come up with solutions.
Dan Ariely and three of his colleagues conducted a study with MIT students where they were given tasks to do and offered three levels of monetary rewards for their performance.
To rule out cultural bias, the team also conducted the same experiment, using the same monetary reward amounts used at MIT, in Madurai, India where the same amounts of money would be worth significantly (e.g. the large reward equaling 2 months’ pay).
Furthermore, the researchers noted that “In eight of the nine tasks we examined across the three experiments, higher incentives led to worse performance.”
Researchers at LSE looked at 51 students of pay-for-performance plans used at a number of companies and concluded that “We find that financial incentives can result in a negative impact on overall performance.”
THE NEW MOTIVATION MODEL
While money and other extrinsic motivations play a role in motivation and work well for some tasks, if you really want people to perform, you should “take the issue of money off the table” so people can focus on their work. After that, there are three factors that lead to better performance and personal satisfaction:
THE NEW MODEL IN PRACTICE
Atlassian, an Australian-based software company, offers its employees what it has dubbed “FedEx Days.” As described on their website, “FedEx Day is Atlassian’s hack day, a one-day creative burst of brainstorming, prototyping and presenting. It’s not just for developers either: anyone can participate. Product managers, tech writers and marketers have all taken part. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how FedEx Day has evolved.”
Google, well-known for being one of the top companies to work for, states on their website that “We offer our engineers “20-percent time” so that they’re free to work on what they’re really passionate about. Google Suggest, AdSense for Content, and Orkut are among the many products of this perk.”
ROWE or Results-Only Work Environment, was created by two American consultants, and is being used at about a dozen companies in the U.S. In his presentation, Pink describes the ROWE model:
Rowe benefits for businesses:
Encarta versus Wikipedia. You’d think Encarta did everything right, they hired the best minds and paid top dollar to get the work done. Yet in 2009, Encarta finally had to concede defeat to Wikipedia, whose content is entirely user-generated, for free!
Pink closes out his presentation with these three statements:
- Those 20th century rewards, those motivators we think are a natural part of business, do work, but only in a surprisingly narrow band of circumstances.
- Those if-then rewards often destroy creativity.
- The secret to high performance isn’t rewards and punishments, but that unseen intrinsic drive – the drive to do things for their own sake. The drive to do things because they matter.
In late November, Seward participated in the Software & Information Industry Association’s (SIIA) 2011 Innovation Incubator Program. The program is designed to highlight innovative educational technology products and services, as well as be a vehicle for networking and collaboration. Our participation in this program got me thinking about innovation not only in the field of educational technology, but in general.
Recently, I came upon an article describing the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) efforts to test one of their new technologies, an unmanned pod known as the Anti-Submarine Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV), a surface vessel which would be used to track potentially hostile submarines. Central to ACTUV’s design is that it runs on software with artificial intelligence capabilities, as opposed to being “manned” by humans in remote locations. As a result, DARPA wanted to figure out just what tactics and strategies it should code into ACTUV’s software. Their solution? An open call to the public to play ACTUV Tactics Simulator (a modification of the existing game Dangerous Waters):
“You are invited to put yourself into the virtual driver’s seat of one of several ACTUV configurations and show the world how you can use its capabilities to follow a submarine. Of course you won’t be the only ship at sea so you’ll have to safely navigate among the commercial traffic, and the target sub has some tricks up his sleeve so watch out! Rack up points as you complete the mission objectives, and see how you stack up against the competition on our leaderboard page.”
As players completed various levels (or scenarios), DARPA requested that players submit their data. Data submission was voluntary and anonymous. In addition to the general public players, ACTUV’s project director Rob McHenry also enlisted a Navy officer expert to play the game—interestingly, the highest he placed on any leaderboard was 3rd.
The ACTUV project is not DARPA’s first foray into using the public’s help in the research, development, and testing of its newest battlefield technologies. Other instances include UAVforge, the Shredder Challenge, the Network Challenge (also known as the Red Balloon Challenge), and the DARPA Grand Challenge, later renamed the Urban Challenge.
In today’s technology-centered world, this method (often referred to as crowdsourcing) has become a popular way for companies to tap the public’s collective knowledge. As DARPA’s director Regina Dugan puts it: “You’re looking for the maximum number of folks who can contribute ideas to the process no matter where they come from.”
In the past few years, I have started to hear more and more about online programs for K-12 students, both supplemental programs and full-time programs. As a college student, I took quite a few online courses, but in looking back to my K-12 days, I think it would’ve have been nice to have these options available-I could have done my schooling during my preferred hours (and no, that did not include waking up at 6am), worked at my own pace (to some degree), and could have had more time for other activities (sports, job, etc.).
So, what are some of the facts and figures relating to K-12 online learning in the U.S.? Is online education effective? How should online education be implemented? What are the emerging trends?
Here are some resources I found, along with highlights of information I found particularly interesting:
Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning: An Annual Review of Policy and Practice 2010 Report, which is published annually by Evergreen Education Group. This report reviews the online learning landscape in the U.S., including state-by-state profiles.
- State virtual schools, or state-led online learning initiatives, now exist in 39 states.
- Together, the state virtual schools had about 450,000 enrollments in 2009-2010 (however NC and FL account for 96% of net growth - note: these were the first two state virtual school programs to be introduced in the U.S.)
- 6 states have full-time enrollments of greater than 10,000
- 27 states have a multi-district full-time online school
- As of late 2010, online learning opportunities are available to at least some students in 48 of the 50 states, plus Washington DC.
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development, Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies. This report focuses on addressing four research questions in particular and included both a literature review and a meta-analysis of 50 study effects:
1. How does the effectiveness of online learning compare with that of face-to-face instruction?
2. Does supplementing face-to-face instruction with online instruction enhance learning?
3. What practices are associated with more effective online learning?
4. What conditions influence the effectiveness of online learning?
- Few rigorous research studies of the effectiveness of online learning for K-12 students have been published.
- Students in online conditions performed modestly better, on average, than those learning the same material through traditional face-to-face instruction.
Final Report: A Comprehensive Assessment of Florida Virtual School, reported by Florida TaxWatch. Florida Virtual School (FLVS) was founded in 1997 and was the first state-wide Internet-based public high school in the country. Although this report was done in 2007, it provides some very interesting data.
- In 1997, FLVS opened with 77 enrollments in five courses. Since that time, it has grown to 113,900 enrollments in over 90 courses. (According to the FLVS website, there were 259,928 enrollments in 110+ courses in the 2010-2011 school year).
- Most FLVS students are part-time. That is, they take one or two courses at FLVS and the balance at a traditional school, be it private or public, including charter shools.
- Students may reside in Florida, another state or even another country.
- The student population at FLVS is diverse. About one-third of the student body represents minorities, with Hispanic and African American heritage being the predominant minority groups.
- Students at FLVS earned higher grades than their counterparts in traditional public schools.
- Students at FLVS earned higher test scores.
- You may also want to read: Florida Virtual School: Building the first statewide, Internet-based public high school, a 2009 Education Case Study from the Innosight Institute
Top Ten Myths About Virtual Schools - North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL)
- Myth #8: Virtual schools are about technology.
Truth: Virtual schools are about curriculum and instruction for students. The “medium” is not the message because the student, instructor, content, and learning goals are key. Networks simply make it possible to provide communication, access to extended resources, and use of sound, graphics, video, text, interactivity, and other digital capabilities to strengthen instruction.
- Myth #9: A student is more likely to cheat online.
Truth: Cheating is no more prevalent online than in the classroom. In addition, there are many technological ways to deter it and track it.
I have also included a couple of resources if you are interested in finding more information about Minnesota Online Education opportunities.
MN Department of Education - Provides general information and forms for Minnesota K-12 online learning
iseek education - A place to find resources for Minnesota K-12 online learning options
An estimated “7 trillion text messages are going to be sent in 2011 from 4.8 billion mobile phones” according to ABI Research. With so many text messages flying around out there, you might be wondering just who is sending all these messages? In the U.S., PEW Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project reports that “83% of American adults own cell phones and three quarters of them (73%) send and receive text messages.”
Recently, PEW published their findings regarding how Americans use text messaging. They reported their data filtered by the following categories: gender, age, race/ethnicity, household income, and education level. In addition, they also compared text messaging patterns to voice call patterns using these same categories. As one might guess, PEW found that “[c]alling and texting are highly correlated, with cell owners who text often also making a large number of voice calls, and vice versa.” Furthermore, those who are active text users tend to prefer the same method when being contacted by others.
FlowingData summarized PEW’s findings into an easy-to-read chart that compares text messages sent/received per day and calls per day. They used the median data set as “[t]he report refers to a lot of averages across demographics, but it seems that there were a lot of heavy texters driving up those averages. The medians are a lot lower.”
While some of these findings seem pretty predictable, such as young Americans (18-24) having the highest text usage, I was also surprised by some of their findings:
- Gender - While women text more than men, men make more calls per day (although not by much)
- Race - Those identified as “White” only text half as much as those identified as “Black” or “Hispanic”
- Income and Education - Those who have lower incomes and lower levels of education text more, with numbers decreasing as income and education level rises.
What do you think about these results? Do you think they are reflective of your texting behaviors?
View the full reports and other interesting U.S. and global statistics below:
Other U.S. Statistics:
Pew Research Center Publications - Teens, Cells Phones and Texting
Mashable - The Average Teenager Sends 3,339 Texts Per Month
Nielsenwire - African-Americans, Women and Southerners Talk and Text The Most in the U.S.
In an age when people are becoming more acutely aware and conscious about the choices they make regarding resource and energy consumption, there are a few things you can do to help your office become “greener.” While you might already be doing many of the things listed here, take a peek and you may find some additional ideas.
Here is a summary of tips I’ve found around the web:
- Use energy efficient equipment, including computers, light bulbs, air conditioners, etc. - Energy Star provides information about specific energy-rated products
- Use multi-function systems instead of having multiple printers, faxes, copiers, and scanners
- Don’t print unnecessary documents and use double-side printing whenever you can
- Use eco-fonts
- Stop junk mail - unsubscribe or make sure your office is only receiving one copy
- Update mailing lists / send documents via e-mail (such as newsletters)
- Keep supplies organized and in one location - this will help reduce unnecessary ordering of extra supplies that the office is already stocked with
- Use instant messaging and teleconferencing technology
- Share documents by e-mail, file-sharing programs, etc. when possible
- Turn off unused equipment / set to sleep or power-saving mode
- Keep your thermostat at recommended temperatures in summer and winter - by installing programmable thermostats, temperatures can be automatically regulated
- Install low-flow toilets - if you don’t own your office space, encourage the building management to look into this
- Install solar power - again, if you don’t own your office space, encourage the building management to look into this
- Buy carbon credits/offsets
- Encourage employees to ride-share/carpool or ride their bikes - make sure employees know what public transportation options there are near your office
- Reuse office equipment and buy reconditioned office equipment if available
- Stock office with actual dishes, cups, and silverware instead of paper or plastic
- Share infrequently used office supplies by keeping them in a central location such as a copier room
- Reuse file folders, binders, boxes, padded mailers, etc. - these can often be easily relabeled
- Let someone else reuse your outdated or unused office equipment including computers, furniture, etc. by donating or selling them - we’ve used Freecycle successfully
- Use reusable bags
- Use scrap paper for taking notes, messages, creating rough drafts, etc.
- Repair items instead of buying new ones
- Recycle paper, aluminum, bottles, etc. - set up recycling areas in central locations and inform your employees of those locations
- Recycle toner and ink cartridges - there are many manufacturers, commercial retailers, and other programs out there, and some offer rewards, coupons, etc. for doing so
- Recycle unusable or broken computer equipment, electronics, CDs, etc.
- Recycle light bulbs - our neighborhood hardware store recycles ours
- Support locally-owned businesses - helps to build and maintain strong community bonds
- Buy organic and fair-trade
- Buy green cleaning products
- Go casual at work (at least some of the time) - this can help employees save money and help save the environment
- Bring lunch to work or eat within walking distance
Businesses should also remember that many of these changes not only help reduce waste and conserve energy and resources, but also often save money in both the short- and long-term.
Please feel free to leave your comments and let us know about any creative ideas your workplace has implemented in an effort to “go green!”
Eco Living Advice
Low Impact Living
Mother Nature Network
Sustainable Baby Steps
UCLA Institute of Environment and Sustainability
Business Insider - 11 Simple Ways to Go Green at Your Office (And Save Money, Too)
Mashable - 4 Ways to Make Your Office Greener
Office Depot - Top 20 Ways to Go Green at Work (and Save Money!)
Open Forum - 30 Easy Ways to Go Green in the Office
In last week’s post, we described some of the trends in how people get their news. Here’s what our Seward staff have to say about how they access their news:
Jessica Bryson -
I rarely pick up a paper newspaper unless I am waiting somewhere or if I’m working on the daily crossword (which is available online, but is not nearly as satisfying). I often watch a mishmash of televised news, including BBC and CNN for international news and WCCO for local news. On my phone, I use the Pulse app to aggregate various news sources that I can choose to follow. While on my computer at work or at home, I often look at Star Tribune, CNN, Mashable, Engadget, and MSN.
Matt Finholt-Daniel -
As others with 2 young kids, a career, and the tiniest bit of a social life can relate, finding time to stay informed on what’s happening locally and around the world can be a bit if a challenge. Thankfully, I’ve found two great services that help keep me in the loop and fit into my schedule. During my morning and evening commute, which is only 15 minutes, Minnesota Public Radio has been a great resource for a quick overview of what’s happening around me. Google News has become my de facto lunch date and a great way to quickly scan a variety of news topics. I really appreciate that it allows me to customize my view to focus on the news I care about and that I can click a single link to see how a wide variety of other news organizations are reporting the same story.
Vicky Frank -
I’ve been a consumer of online news for quite some time. Google Fastflip had long been a favorite, but there was no mobile version until recently. Now it’s back on my radar. The smartphone has definitely amped up my use of online resources. My current favorite app (free) is US Newspapers, an aggregator of all major newspapers and TV news sites. Very useful! Online aside, I have until recently hung onto the tradition of a daily delivered newspaper. Alas, I finally dropped it - not because it was old technology, but because the Star Tribune could not deliver it before I left for work. A cherished tradition - a paper newspaper in one hand and coffee in the other - bites the dust!
Paul Johnson -
I get most of my news two ways: I go to the Star Tribune website during lunch at work and usually watch the 9:00 news on Fox or the 10:00 news on WCCO if I stay up a bit later. We also get the weekend paper, so I will occasionally look through that as well. I mostly like it for the crossword.
David Porcaro -
My main source of news is the New York Times and Chronicle of Higher Ed sent to my email every day. I also listen to NPR a lot, but haven’t been in my car much lately and that is usually where I listen.
Melanie Ruda -
I’m an integrator–someone who turns to a blend of traditional and internet sources for news. Over breakfast, I scan the headlines in the paper version of the Star Tribune. During lunch, I follow up on the stories that piqued my interest, using the online version of Star Tribune. On my drive home, I catch the breaking news from NPR.
Brian Thompson -
I don’t really have a consistent system for keeping up with general news. Mostly I rely on rumors, researching stories once I’ve heard of them from acquaintances. Aside from that, I’ll pick up a smattering of news from the radio, from Slashdot and occasionally from the Web Clips feature in Gmail. Sometimes I look at the News Channel on the Wii, but I have no consistent schedule for doing so - the last time I actually used the News Channel was months ago.
Once I’m aware of a story, I’ll simply do a Google search and read further. That’s not really “getting news” so much as “doing research,” though. If you know what you’re searching for, it’s not news anymore.
One other thing I should mention is RSS feeds. I’m subscribed to several programming-related blogs that way, and some of them announce news relating to the blog’s topic. On the other hand, news isn’t the raison d’être for those blogs, so I don’t think of following them as “getting news.”
Other Interesting Articles and Websites:
Mashable - 13 Alternative Ways to Consume Your News
Mashable - How News Consumption is Shifting to the Personalized Social News Stream
Mashable - 10 Predictions for the News Media in 2011
Macworld - How a news junkie uses the iPad
Nielsen Wire - January 2011: Top U.S. Brands and News Sites
Ask Men - Top 10: Most Powerful News Outlets
Akamai - Net Usage Index: News
AP - A New Model for News: Studying the Deep Structure of Young-Adult News Consumption
Access to news via smartphone, computer, and 24-hour cable TV and satellite radio stations and an increased expectation for on-demand information have changed the way most people get their news. Now that news is being reported virtually as it happens–and in a more personalized and interactive way–people don’t want to wait for the evening news or the morning newspaper delivery. Traditional newspaper subscriptions are on the wane, since consumers can now retrieve the same information with a click of the mouse or a swipe of the finger. Some newspapers have tried to recoup their losses by offering web-based versions, requiring users to pay a fee to access all of their content.
The pace of television and radio consumption has slowed. The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press (PRCPP) stated in early 2011 that “The decline in the share of Americans who cite television as their main source of national and international news crosses all age groups. Over the past three years, the number saying TV is their main source has fallen 16 points among 18-29 year-olds, eight points among those 30 to 49, and six points among those age 50 and older.” Radio, while also feeling a minimal decline, has remained relatively steady across all age groups. In any case, television and radio aren’t likely to disappear any time soon, particularly due to ease of access. Just flip on your TV or radio and watch/listen. Technology has also made it easier for us to access television and radio broadcasts in an on-demand format.
The internet as a news resource has been steadily increasing, especially for younger generations. PRCPP reported “In 2010, for the first time, the internet has surpassed television as the main source of national and international news for people younger than 30. Since 2007, the number of 18 to 29 year olds citing the internet as their main source has nearly doubled, from 34% to 65%.”
Mobile phones equipped with internet access have also changed how people are consuming news, with built-in or downloadable applications that link users to various social networking sites, news media channels, RSS feeds, etc. of their choosing.
Despite the internet’s rising popularity as a news source, there is a question of reliability and trustworthiness of various outlets. This may explain why major television and radio consumption has only slowed and not dropped off entirely. While anyone can set up a blog, it’s hard to compete with a brand like CNN, which claims to be “the most trusted name in news”. Naturally though, many of these big “brand names” in both television and radio have extended their reach with the addition of websites, Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, RSS feeds, and the like.
Of course most individuals don’t just access news from one source. According to the findings of the 2008 biennial news consumption survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & Press, as summarized on Marketing Chart’s website, the majority of the American public can be divided into four categories based on how they access their news:
- Integrators - who turn to a blend of traditional and internet sources for news
- Net-Newsers - who get news primarily from the internet during the day
- Traditionalists - who favor television over all other media
- Disengaged - who have low overall levels of interest in the news and news consumption
Additional findings show clear connections between how consumers get their news (including what networks they may go to) and education level, income, political views, what type of news they are consuming (i.e. national vs. international), and even geographical location.
The future of our news consumption habits is likely to continue to mirror current trends, with television, radio, and internet sources continuing to evolve and integrate with each other to provide easily accessible, on-demand, interactive experiences, and with newspapers becoming increasingly outdated.
In Part 2 of this post, the Seward staff will share their personal choices for news consumption.