I haven’t been able to fully digest the information here yet, but last week Statistics Canada released the latest version of their online newsletter Education Matters with an article titled Learning online: Factors associated with use of the Internet for education purposes.
This article investigates the use of the Internet for education-related reasons based on findings from the 2005 Canadian Internet Use Survey (CIUS). After providing an overview of Internet use in Canada, the article describes selected social, economic and geographic characteristics of those going online for education-related reasons. It then examines specific reasons for going online for education-related purposes, including distance education, self-directed learning and correspondence courses.
Some points have jumped out at me. As Stephen Downes has noted, 26% of Canadians using the internet for some sort of online learning is impressive.
Some other points from the article:
- People who use the internet for education tend to be younger and better educated than average internet users.
- Nearly 80% of all full- and part-time students reported going online for education, training or school work.
- Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Quebec reported the lowest rates of Internet use for education, training or school work, at around 20%, and those living in Ontario reported the highest rate (32%).
The report also noted that people who go online for education-related reasons “appear to be more “engaged” Internet users than individuals who did not go online” because they go online more frequently, for longer periods of time and have more varied activities than those who are not using the net for education related purposes.
By far and way the most common activity educational users of the net do when they are online is research (71%), followed by distance education (26%). Interestingly, according to the data, more education related users used the net to communicate with school administration than to communicate with a teacher or instructor.