Shortly before Christmas, one of my colleagues from the iTEC project, Karine Aillerie from France, contacted me about a survey she’d designed for investigate young people’s use of social media for information-seeking. She wondered whether I’d be able to help to promote the survey among my contacts in the UK so we could compare results in the two countries. Of course I said ‘yes’…but I could never have anticipated how much interest there would be! As a result, we not only have French and English versions, but Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch too. As well as interest from Europe, we’re had a lot of responses from British international schools and are hoping to get representation from South America.
The aim of the survey is to investigate young people’s (16-19 years) use of social media, specifically for information-seeking activities. There are two reasons why Karine chose to focus on this, and why it particularly interested me. 1) much of the existing research focuses on social media as a communication tool and doesn’t consider its potential use for information-seeking and 2) in many schools/colleges social media isn’t really considered as an appropriate educational/information resource although students are likely to make use of it.
If anyone has contacts they think would be interested in distributing the survey to their students, please contact Sarah McNicol (email@example.com) and I can send you a link to the relevant language version.
We’re planning to leave the survey open until Easter and then write up the results as an article and also produce a short summary of the key findings which we’ll make available online.