The following is a guest post written by Royan Lee in response to our conversations about creating welcoming spaces for all students, including those that might be considered introverts. Many thanks to Royan for contributing to the conversation in this way!
If there’s one myth which I am perturbed by, it is the one that goes something like this.
Well, you know, getting technology in there is going to be great for those disengaged, behavioural boys…
There are so many things wrong with this stereotype of our metaphorical wild animals suddenly being tamed at the sight of a touchscreen, but I’m going to focus my attention on one in particular.
In my experience using social media and web 2.0 (SMW2.0) tools with students since basically their inception, I would say that if it favours or holds a bias towards any one identifiable student demographic at all, it would be our introverts.
Before writing this post, I had a glance back at what you might call my own data. In the past two years, I have introduced and guided nearly 200 adolescent students in the use of Google Apps for Education, Voicethread, Animoto, Bitstrips, Prezi, Today’s Meet, and other well known SMW2.0 tools. All of them have had the ability to not only complete assignments and projects mandated by myself as their teacher, but also to take initiative and create, post, respond at their leisure 24/7.
I went through my list of 184 and started by tagging each based on the results of the survey I had them complete from Susan Cain’s website:
Ambivert (difficult to identify as only one)
I then compared this information with another where I assessed their engagement with SMW2.0:
1 – Exhibiting little engagement, rarely posting even when teacher required them to do so.
2 – Exhibiting some engagement, usually when the teacher outlined a specific task to accomplish.
3 – Exhibiting significant engagement, posting frequently.
4 – Exhibiting a high level of engagement, posting most frequently, to the point where we learn about skills, ideas, and aspects of their personality that are rarely shown outwardly in class.
Here are the results of my mom ‘n’ pop research:
What do you think this says about social media and introverts?