Online Experiences of Young Adults: Bahcesehir University English Preparatory School Context
Fatos Ugur Eskicirak, Turkey
Fatoş Uğur Eskiçırak holds a BA in American Philology from Ankara University and an MA in Educational Administration from Bahcesehir University, the CEELT, the COTE & the DELTA from Bilkent University and currently pursues her PhD studies in ELT at Istanbul University. She also designs & implements several professional development activities for ELT teachers and works as a Teaching and Training Operations Coordinator at Bahcesehir University English Preparatory School.
Significance of the study
Limitations of the study
Summary of the findings
Interpretations of the findings
Suggestions for further research
We can easily observe that the Internet has already become an important part of our lives. This is especially true for today’s youth who were naturally born into this technology. The literature about the youth and the Internet also suggests that the young people are more Internet-savvy and educations systems need to catch up with the youth’s needs regarding the Internet use at schools. The same literature also reveals a lack of first-hand data on how the young people are using the Internet, though.
This study takes its point of departure from one of the research suggestions Herring’s article titled “Questioning the Generational Divide: Technological Exoticism and Adult Constructions of Online Youth Identity”. In her article Herring (2007) calls for rethinking of research on the “youth and digital media” by saying that:
“The circumstances that I have termed in this chapter the generational digital
divide - especially, the adult construction of “digital youth” as a generational
identity – call for a rethinking of research on youth and new media....... This
perspective may reveal more continuity than novelty in online youth practices,
as well as providing nuanced understandings of present day youth’s mediated
Listening to Herring’s advice, I decided to conduct mini scale research into today’s youth’s online experiences to move away from a fascination with technologies to a focus on young people themselves and their own interpretation of their own online experiences.
This small scale study aims to answer the following research question:
- What are the online experiences of young adults studying at Bahcesehir University English Preparatory Program?
This mini-scale study is significant in two ways. First, this study is timely. As the internet technology is comparatively new in our lives, we will be able to collect updated data about our learners’ understanding and experiences of the internet technology and we can better able to integrate it into our lessons based on the collected data.
Another reason why this study is significant is that there is a lack of current research in how young adults in Turkish tertiary level are using the internet. So this study may shed some light on this issue and offer a starting point for the teachers, school managers, publishers and all the other stakeholders to take the necessary actions regarding internet’s integration into the school’s curriculum in an informed manner. In this way the digital disconnect between the students and their schools could be narrowed down.
The study is limited to 14 students at the English Preparatory Program of Bahcesehir University. The results of the study may also be relevant in similar contexts but the generalization beyond this group may be limited to the extent that in what ways other contexts are different than this present setting.
Another limitation is that the study depended on the self-report of the students and not all students may have wanted to reveal their true understanding or experiences to impress their peers or the researcher, who was their former teacher.
When children are growing in the twenty-first century, they are growing up with computers and the internet. Tapscott creates a term for these children: “Net Generation” (Tapscott, 1998, p.1) Children born in the mid-to-late- 1980s and 19090s have been labelled the “Internet Generation”: the first generation to grow up in a world where the Internet was always present (as cited in Herring, 2007).
The aim of this review is to look at the literature with a particular emphasis on situating this Net Generation at the centre of the inquiry. However, when one looks at the available research, s/he can realize that a great majority of them focus on implementation of technology infrastructure, integration of technology into the classroom, the effects of technology on this generation an so on rather than on their experiences with technology. Although the focus on youth is implicit in some of their discussions, we hardly learn about their own perspectives. Although limited in number, I could reach some studies where the focus is on mainly youth themselves – although partly in some- (e.g. their opinions, perceptions, skills, needs, experiences etc.). First, I will give an overview of four studies conducted in Turkey and then four overseas.
The one where the focus was to a great extent on the students themselves was an unpublished MA thesis titled “Students’ Use of Technology and their Expectations in terms of Informal Learning and their Opinions about Web 2.0 Applications” and which aimed to define 8th grade students’ ICT usage, their expectations related to using technology in their courses and views about the utility of Web 2.0 applications in the educational environment based on informal learning. According to the research results, students stated they use Facebook (86.3 %) and MSN (79.8 %) most but wiki (17,1 %) and blog applications (1,37 %) least. The study also revealed that the applications the students want to use in their courses show parallelism with the technologies they use in their daily lives. The research concluded that the students’ roles in digital environments in the social context could be classified as “audience”, “communicators”, collaborators”, “information seekers”, and “producers”. (Atal, 2010)
The results of another unpublished MA thesis titled “Information and Communication Technology Education in Primary Schools: Students’ Competencies, Attitudes and Needs” indicated that primary school students generally perceived themselves competent in ICT tasks and they had favourable attitudes towards the ICT course. Significant differences were found in students’ perceived ICT competencies and attitudes with respect to gender, educational background of parents, computer ownership and availability of home assistance related to the ICT course. (Cetinkaya, 2008)
Another unpublished MA case study, looking at the perceptions of students and instructors about using remote access technology in programming language courses concluded that despite a high percentage of indecisive students, a high number of students reported positive perceptions. Accordingly, students expressed that remote access technology is a useful and easy to use technology and accepted the use of this new technology in their learning environment by also stating that it affected their motivation towards the group projects in a positive way. (Turşak, M. 2007)
One final unpublished MA action research case study examined 7th grade students’ perceptions about collaborative learning, peer and teacher support, project based learning, technology integration into Science and Technology lesson and forum. In the research the , students as groups created educational web sites on Science and Technology subjects. One of the findings revealed that the feeling of self-confidence students gained when they completed the project helped them to overcome their fear to use computer. Most of the students preferred using computer in their projects or homework from other disciplines. (Avşar, 2008)
What all these studies had in common was that they all looked at primary school students. My study will be different in that it will look at university level students. Another difference is that except the first one, all looked at either students’ perceptions about a programme or a curriculum but did not focus on students actual experiences with the Internet technology. Mine will be trying to find an answer to the question “what are the students’ actual experiences with the Internet?”.
According to a recent report released by a collaborative project called “Digital Youth Research, Kids’ Informal Learning with Digital Media: An Ethnographic Investigation of Innovative Knowledge Cultures” and funded by MacArthur Foundation, most youth use online networks to extend the friendships. A small number of youth also use the online world to explore interests and find information that goes beyond what they have access to at school or in their local community. In both friendship-driven and interest-driven online activity, youth create and navigate new forms of expression and rules for social behaviour. These results were gained through interviewing over 800 youth and young adults and conducting over 5000 hours of online observations as part of the most extensive U.S. study of youth media use. (Ito et. al., 2008)
A recent PhD study titled “Being Net Gen: Exploring the Role of Technology in College Students’ Social Identity Enactment on Campus” examined the role that technology played in the lives of undergraduate college students at a midsize public university in the Northeastern United States, with a particular focus on the ways where the students took up technologies as they negotiated their social identities in various academic and personal contexts on campus. One of the findings was that “students were selective in their technology practices and that for some participants, technology was used as a powerful tool for working around constraints set by their academic schedules, particularly through the use of technology to socialize while in class.” (Lohnes, 2008)
Another study investigated the experiences of middle school youth when they access the Internet at home or at school and the meanings they give to their online experiences. The study which was carried out in three middle schools in Ohio, revealed that students are savvy with Internet use at home and they loved using the Internet for multiple purposes. However, the students reported the Internet use at school is limited and to some extent boring. While on the surface, boys and girls reported using the Internet to do the same things such as chatting and gaming, deeper analysis showed that boys and girls were in fact quite different in terms of what content they choose and the meanings they gave to chatting and gaming (Ma, 2005). This study is significant in that it aimed to answer a similar question to mine but using a different methodology and a different group of learners in terms of their age.
One last study conducted aimed to explore the Millennial students’ and faculty’s perceptions of a new generation of learning classrooms. Some of the hypotheses concerning the perceptions of students are as follows: students think (1) appearance of the new generation of learning classrooms gave a sense of purpose to the classroom, (2) that new generation of learning classrooms were rich in technology in comparison to a traditional classroom, (3) encouraged them to participate in non traditional roles, (4) increased their interaction with peers, (5 ) enabled them to conduct research. Students also think that (6) laptops and wireless technology are must in new generation classrooms, (7) social distractions can increase among students and (8) a collaborative-regulated learning environment is necessary in such classes. (Garcia, 2007)
Most of the studies listed above all focus on the undergraduate students at university like the present study. Although their context is bigger than mine and the findings could also reflect the perspective of the youth in Turkey, a more local survey is necessary to better understand the Turkish youth’s online experiences.
The research setting: Bahcesehir University English Preparatory Program, which is located in Istanbul, Turkey was chosen as the research context. Students here study Academic English to let them survive in their faculties, where the medium of instruction is English. The students in the Facebook group (6 boys and 8 girls) are all monolingual Turkish students who started to study here at A1 level almost 7 months ago and now they are the exit level group. The reason why this specific group of students was chosen is that I personally know these students as I was their teachers in their A1 classes and I know they all have a good digital literacy (including most web 2.0 tools) and can access to the Internet at home.
The technology infrastructure at school is not bad as there is WIFI in each classroom as well as a PC and a projector. However, use of the Internet in education is limited to individual teachers. There are just a few teachers who make active use of tools such as Wiki, Blog etc. to let their learners practise their language and four skills in an online context.
The researcher: I am a PhD student in Istanbul University ELT Department. I also work as a teacher and teacher trainer at Bahcesehir University Preparatory Program. I am aware of the huge impacts of the Internet technology on EFL context. More importantly, when I was reading Herring’s article as it was set as our first assignment in my Media Discourse class, I had a chance to read about the youth’s own experience of online experiences. The results presented there made me more curious about the students’ own perspectives of interpreting their online experiences and I decided to find it out myself by conducting a small scale study through using the Facebook applications as my tool of data collection. I believed the medium matching the content would give me more opportunities to interpret the data I collected.
Research design: This study is designed to be qualitative with an interpretative phenomenological approach. I formed a Facebook group and used its applications (e.g. posting a comment or a question and then eliciting the students’ responses to those postings) as my data collection tool.
As the research question is about the meaning of the Internet Technology experiences to the young adults, this study could be considered as a phenomenological study. Phenomenological approach is not interested in fact but in how people are making sense of different incidents in their everyday life. The researcher in this approach looks for the meaning of the phenomenon constructed by the participants during their experiences so s/he is more concerned about “the subjective aspects of people’s behaviour”. (Bogdan & Biklen, 1998, p.23) Through Facebook, students were welcome to post an answer in their own convenience. Answering the question was done publicly, that is if not the all, at least all the other research participants could see their responses.
The researcher’s goal in phenomenological research is to seek people’s perspectives and understandings of a certain phenomenon. But as the researcher himself/herself is a human being with his/her own beliefs and values, the researcher has to start from his/her own perspectives and then try to immerse herself/himself into the world of the subjects of the study. This means I may be reflecting my own “adult” perspective while interpreting the findings and exoticising the youth’s experience with the Internet and may not reflect the insiders’ point of view although I was a member of the Facebook group I created to collect data from the students.
Instead of giving each individual student a questionnaire or interview him/her on her/his own I formed a focus group in Facebook where I also answered some of the questions myself so that I could also create a synergy that would not be possible in individual approaches.
Based on Arson et. al’s literature review (2004) the traditional size of a focus group is six to twelve people. Mine was a bit bigger than that: 14. I selected the members of the focus group based on their accessibility of the internet at home and their frequency of using the Internet. As one of the students answered none of the questions we may say the actual number of participants was in fact 13.
Researcher’s role: My role in the group was the “moderator” so I mostly started the discussion (e.g. by posing a question or sending a comment), modelled the answers whenever possible, elicited answers and encouraged participation whenever required. To establish a good rapport with the students and a stress free online environment, I also sent some fun videos, welcomed any kind of initiation by the students, “liked” their comments and sent some encouraging words at times and welcomed L1 (i.e. Turkish) use. Although it was very rare, when responses were unclear, I sometimes sent an individual message to the student to double check what s/he meant or ask for clarification directly through commenting on the response publicly.
The data analysis: It was carried out while the process was ongoing. During this process, I first analysed the student responses to ten questions by using qualitative techniques (e.g. colour coding, discourse analysis to some extent) and also looked at other details like the time differences between responses of each student and their amount of contribution. That is, I also observed the explicit participants behaviour to make better sense of their perspectives at times.
Reliability and validity issues: As my aim was not generalise the results, I did not worry much about the reliability and validity issues. For example, I did not use multiple sources of data formats and did not data triangulate. But still to ensure credibility, I will include some sample copies of Facebook page here in the appendices (App.3)
Below are findings to 10 sub questions I posed to help me find a satisfactory answer to the main research question “What are the online experiences of young adults studying at Bahcesehir University English Preparatory Program?” Please refer to Appendix 2 for a full list of ten questions as they are worded in the “Millenial Voices” Facebook Group Page.
1. First Use of the Internet
The majority of the students reported that they first met the Internet technology through playing an online game. The gender did not matter in this issue. The age of starting the internet use was generally observed to range between 9 and 12. There was only one student who reported that he was 5 when he first met the Internet and the other was 13.
Most students did not give the names of the online games they played. Among the mentioned ones were: (1) Heroes-Might & Magic; (2) Princess and (3) Series.
There were also a couple of students who mentioned that they first started to use the internet by Netlog and Messsenger.
2. Purposes for using the Internet
The most popular purpose for using the internet was reported to be “Communication”. Here communication referred to sending e-mails, using Facebook, Messenger and Skype. Among the other popular ones were: (1) following news; (2) learning and researching and (3) following multimedia -movies, music etc..
Some girls said they use it for “shopping” purposes, too while only one boy said he is interested in “games”.
3. Favourite sites
Except one of them, all the students included “Facebook” in their three favourite websites. Among the other most popular websites reported were (1) Google and (2) Youtube.
Some other websites which were mentioned by the students were (1) Twitter, (2) some local news websites (e.g. Hurriyet.com, ntvmsnbc.com), (3) multimedia websites (e.g. fizy.com, diziport.com, zamunda.com) and (4) the others (e.g. kampist.com, tureng.com, bahcesehir.edu.tr, IBM.com, zamunda.com)
4. Time spent online
The majority of the students said they spend online for at least “2-3 hours” everyday. One student said he is online for 7-8 hours but it may also be important to note that he is in the IT business. Some said when they watch TV programmes such as series on the internet, they may be online for even 5-6 hours a day while one said there are times when she is never online.
5. Cell phones with Internet connection
Except 2, all the others said they can connect to the Internet through their Cell Phones. They said they are online when they are at school or on the bus/train.
Among the online activities they commit through their cell phones are: (1) chatting, (2) e-mailing and (3) following multimedia (e.g. watching videos, reading news).
Some also reported that they use it to buy a ticket or order food.
One student reported a very strong attachment to her iPhone and said she uses it more than her computer (as it appeared on the comments; with no corrections made):
G.: “My iphone include internet and i use it more than computer. İts my hand and foot. İ am chatting check my e mails check my facebook follow my twitter and find sources”
6. Preferences regarding face-to-face or online socialising.
I posed two questions to students about their preferences. The exact question was:
Q: “Which one would you prefer: (1) going out with friends to a cafe/the cinema etc. or (2) socialising with them through social networking tools such as Facebook, MSN etc.”
Except one student, all went for the first option and said they would prefer face-to-face communication. The student who went for the second option is the one who does business in IT.
One of the students to show his strong preference wrote “1111111111111111 ”
7. Use of symbols, abbreviations in e-mailing, chatting etc.
All the students reported that they use symbols in their online correspondence. Among the most popular ones are as follows:
- :) Happy face
- :( Sad face
- :D Happy face
- :0 Shocked face
- :/ “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure” face
8. Metaphors/adjectives to define (their) Internet (use)
Among the most popular adjectives the students used to describe the Internet were: (1) unavoidable, (2) fast, (3) funny, (4) informative, (5) useful.
One said “it is like alcohol” . And another similar comment was “it is addictive”.
Some also emphasized its use for various purposes through saying: “the internet includes everything”; “it offers a lot of facilities” or “it has wide info”.
9. Description of a lesson which integrated the Internet
The majority of the students used the adjectives (1) educational and (2) entertaining/funny to describe the lesson with the internet.
10. How much internet they want in their lessons
The majority of the students stated they wanted their teachers to use “a lot of” or “some” internet in lessons while only one student said he wants “none”. It is also interesting to note that this last student is the one who is in the IT business.
In short, this mini scale research carried among the young adults at Bahcesehir University English Preparatory Program found that average age for starting to use the internet was 9-12, while the minimum age is 5 and the maximum is 13. When they first started to use the internet, it was generally through online games.
Their most popular online activity was reported to be “Communication” and most popular websites included Facebook, Google and Youtube. The average time they spent online was 2-3 hours every day. Their cell phones had internet connection and they generally used them at school and on the bus/train while they were commuting home or to school. What they preferred most to do by their cell phones was chatting with friends, e-mailing and following multimedia. They all seemed use some symbols in their online correspondence, too.
Although they found the internet unavoidable, fast, funny, informative, and useful, they also said they preferred face-to-face communication to socialising online.
They wanted their teachers to integrate the internet technology into their lessons and found such lessons informative as well as entertaining.
This mini scale study was carried out to answer the following question: What are the experiences of young adults studying at Bahcesehir university English Preparatory Program?
The study found the following themes arising from the analysis of the findings:
- The students in this study showed that the youth of today start using the internet as early as possible –before they are teens or in their early teens. Relevant to this, their first online activity is games, that is, they are first using it for entertainment. Their interest in online games does not finish as they grow older (especially boys).
- In their teens, students also use the internet for mainly social ends (i.e. communication). That is, they send and receive e-mails and chat with their peers. In their communication, they seem to reflect their in-group identity through using some symbols or abbreviations. They keep in touch with their peers though Facebook and they do online search through Google and watch videos or any visual recordings through Youtube.
- When we look at the time they spend online, it is not less than 2-3 hours a day. This could get longer depending on what online activity they are doing. When they are watching TV series or programmes on it, they may spend up to 6-7 hours. It is very rare when they are never online a day. This may show that for whatever purposes it could be, their online activities have become a daily routine for them.
- Despite this much interest of theirs in online socialising activities through Facebook, when it comes to their choice whether face-to-face or online communication, with no hesitation, they prefer face-to-face communication. This may mean when they have no chance of meeting with their peers in person, they prefer online socialising. Or they prefer it because it is easy and more convenient.
- When they are asked to describe the internet through an adjective or a metaphor some say it is “unavoidable” meaning it has become an essential part of their life. This may mean it is not very possible to survive without it in this modern world. One reason for this could be hidden in some of these explanations by those young adults: “it includes everything” and it is “fast”. More importantly, they seem to use the internet as they find it not only “useful” and “informative” but also “fun”. This may mean they get what they want (e.g. information, communication etc.) and have “fun” at the same time: like killing two birds (or more maybe for some) with one stone. What is interesting is that not all of them seem to have the control of their use of internet and they seem to admit it by saying “it is addictive” or “like alcohol”, meaning when they get used to it, they cannot stop using it.
- All the above findings were related to their personal uses of the internet. There were a few regarding the internet use by their teachers in the lessons. They generally seem to like the lessons where the internet is integrated. To them such lessons are both “educational” and “entertaining”. Related to this area, almost all say they prefer teachers to use the internet in their lessons to some or full extent.
Some personal comments based on my personal observations of participants’ behaviour
When I first formed the group, I sent the students a letter in English where I explained the rationale behind the group. I also posed a question about when they first started to use the Internet on the same day. Three students immediately “liked” the letter but none of them answered the question. I could see their Facebook activities online. For example they were answering some personal quiz answers elsewhere, uploading photographs, updating their status, commenting on each other’s postings etc. but none was answering my question. There was only one student who answered it on the day I posted it. All the others started to answer it after I personally saw and explained them the rationale in person as they confessed that they did not really get what they were expected to do. So their misunderstanding could be a result of their not being involved in such a group activity on Facebook before. That is, these students generally use Facebook for entertainment and keeping in touch with peers and are not prepared to use it for such an academic purpose. Although I wanted to create an informal discussion environment, it did not turn out to be so and students regarded is as an artificial way of collecting data about themselves.
My above hypothesis “the students do not (want to) use Facebook for another purpose other than entertainment and communication with peers” was also validated in the coming days as I needed to send reminders both in English in Turkish (i.e. L1) and post funny pictures saying I need them to answer the questions (e.g. Do you know how it feels to be ignored? It hurts a lot) to attract their attention. Although they seemed to work on the day I posted each, some continued to ignore the questions in the coming days. Consequently, it was very rare for me to get answers from the full group each time. The most popular question (i.e. favourite websites) collected 12 questions and the least popular one (i.e. describing a lesson with the Internet by an adjective or a metaphor) collected 6 answers. That the least popular question is also about the Internet use at school could be another justification for the validation of my informal hypothesis.
Below are some suggestions for future research to extend the work of the present study:
- This study was limited in scope and looked at only 14 students’ online experiences at Bahcesehir University English Preparatory Program. Future research can be extended to a bigger context. (e.g. Preparatory programmes of universities in Istanbul)
- This study did not triangulate data. For more valid, reliable and generalizable findings, data triangulation is necessary. More data collection tools other than a Facebook group (e.g. interviews, field notes etc.) could be facilitated to obtain more reliable and valid data. In the same way, the teachers and the parents could also be included in the research next time to better explain the students’ tendencies towards internet use at home and school.
- This study did not look at the differences between genders (i.e. girls & boys). Next time, the differences between the boys and girls could also be explored.
- This study only focused on students’ online experiences. Future research can focus on teachers’ practices of using the Internet in their lessons to keep up with technology-savvy students.
This study has investigated the online experiences of the young adults studying at the Preparatory Program of Bahcesehir University. It aimed to help understand the phenomenon of students’ Internet use and their perceptions of the Internet technology by placing them into the centre of the research. The results have showed that today’s youth start using the Internet when they are just children by playing games and continue to use it almost everywhere with the help of mobile technologies mostly to fulfil their social needs through using some specific websites (e.g. Facebook, Youtube, Google etc) and reflect their in-group identity by using some new forms of discourses (e.g. symbols and abbreviations). As they find lessons with the Internet informative and entertaining, they want their teachers to integrate it to their lessons, too. One important nuance is that although the Internet has become an “unavoidable” tool in their lives, they still prefer face-to-face-communication with their peers as long as they have the opportunity. This first hand data is important in that it may help better understand the relationship between digital media and today’s youth and help us avoid probable adult exoticism (i.e. a fascination with what is new and different) while defining this relationship.
Arson, K., et. al. May 2004. Can You Call it a Focus Group?
Atal, D. (2010). Students’ Use of Technology and their Expectations in terms of Informal Learning and their Opinions about Web 2.0 Applications. Unpublished Ma Thesis, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey.
Cetinkaya, Y. (2008) Information and Communication Technology Education İn Primary Schools: Students’ Competencies, Attitudes and Needs. Unpublished MA Thesis. METU, Ankara, Turkey.
Garcia, L. L. (2007). Millenial Students’ and Faculty’s Perceptions of a New Generation of Learning Classrooms. An unpublished PhD Thesis. The University of Texas at Austin, USA.
Groenewald, T. A Phenomenological Research Design Illustrated. International Journal of Qualitative Methods 3 (1) April, 2004. Retrieved from
www.ualberta.ca/~iiqm/backissues/3_1/pdf/groenewald.pdf on 14 May 2011.
Herring, S.C. (2007). Questioning the Generational Divide: Technological Exoticism and Adult Constructions of Online Youth Identity. In David Buckingham (Ed.), Youth, Identity, and Digital Media (pp. 71 - 92). Cambridge: The MIT Press
Ito, M. et. al. (2008) Living and Learning with the New Media. The John d. & Catherine t. MacArthur Foundation Reports, University of Southern California and University Of California, Berkley. USA. Retrieved from
http://digitalyouth.ischool.berkeley.edu/files/report/digitalyouth-WhitePaper.pdf on May 15 2011.
Lohnes, S. C. (2008) Being Net Gen: Exploring the Role of Technology in College Students’ Social Identity Enactment on Campus”. Unpublished PhD Thesis. Columbia University, NY, USA.
Ma, H. (2005) Interpreting Middle School Students’ Online Experiences: A Phenomenological Approach. Unpublished PhD Thesis. Ohio University, Ohio, USA.
Turşak, M.( 2007). Perceptions of Students and Instructors about Using Remote Access Technology in Programming Language Course: A Case Study. Unpublished MA Thesis, METU, Ankara, Turkey.
Waters, J. Phenomenological Research. Capilona University. Retrieved from
www2.capilanou.ca/programs/psychology/students/research/phenom.html on 14 May 2011
Yaşar, D. (2008) Student’s Perceptions about Technology Integrated Collaborative Science Projects: An Action Research Case Study. Unpublished MA Thesis, METU, Ankara, Turkey.
Appendix 1: INFO LETTER TO THE STUDENTS
Hope all is well with you all in your new classes.
Some of you may know that I’ll be doing some mini scale research and I need your voices about today’s internet technology use. I’m interested to learn anything you may want to say about it. It doesn’t matter who starts the topic – you or me. I or you ask a question, make a comment post a video etc. about technology use. Others may want to contribute to it by responding to it. This is a free environment as only the group members can see what you say. I prefer you express yourself in English. If you find it difficult, you may convert to Turkish sometimes.
Please feel free to ask questions freely if you have any about how this will work. And sometimes you may want to guide me if I fail to use any of the applications I think that’s all I want to say now.
Hope to hear from you soon,
Appendix 1: RESERCH QUESTIONS
- I remember the first time I opened an e-mail account -with yahoo- it was when I was 20ish:) It may sound a bit too late to you when compared to your own experience I guess. I wonder how old you were when you first met the internet technology? And what activity was it you first tried?
- I’ve just been thinking about for what purposes I mainly use the internet. Here is my list of 3 most popular reasons for using it:(1) to communicate (e.g. e-mailing & social networking especially Facebook); (2) to learn and do research (e.g. e-books & e-libraries) (3) to follow multimedia (e.g. listening to music & watching some videos). So shopping, games, surfing on it, getting directions, keeping up with current events through reading online newspapers etc. are not in my list of most popular internet activities. So curious about your list? WHAT ARE YOUR 3 MOST POPULAR PURPOSES TO USE THE INTERNET?
- What are your three favourite websites? My list is 1. Bahcesehir (Web Mail) 2. Yahoo 3. Facebook
- Of course it’s never the same everyday but I think the time I spend online is for an average of 4 hours every day (e-mailing included). How much time do you spend online every day. Less or more than mine?
- My cell phone does not have the internet connection. How about yours? Can you be online through your cell phones (e.g. chat with friends, send e-mails, watch videos etc.) WHERE do you use it most (e.g. at school, on the bus, home, at a friend’s house etc.)?
- It seems I have a lot of time to think about things today This time I won’t tell you my own preference but you may easily guess it Here is the thing I’m curious about: Which one would you prefer: (1) going out with friends to a cafe/the cinema etc. or (2) socialising with them through social networking tools such as Facebook, MSN etc. Yes, which one do you like best 1st or 2nd option?
- Do you use any symbols or abbreviations when e-mailing, chatting etc.? If yes, how much? A lot? Some? What are the most frequent ones you use? For me they are (1) (smiling face), (2) (sad face),(3) LOL (Lough out loudly). Yess, what about you??
- Me again with a new question today: Which metaphor or adjective would you use to define the Internet? Please complete the following sentence: “The internet is (like).......”.
- Think of a lesson where your teacher used the Internet technology in it. Which 3 adjectives would you use to describe it? (You can use Turkish in your answers here.
- How much do you want your teachers to use the Internet technology in their lessons? A lot? Some? None?
Appendix 3: SAMPLE PAGES FROM “MILLENAIL VOICES” FACEBOOK GROUP
Please check the Methodology and Language for Secondary Teachers course at Pilgrims website.
Please check the Teaching Advanced Students course at Pilgrims website.
Please check the ICT – Social Media in Education course at Pilgrims website.