The aim of this report is to analyze how Romanian students and teachers use media in their free time and at school. It also aims at understanding teachers and students' attitude and perception about the media.

For this aim, ActiveWatch interviewed 100 students (50 girls and 50 boys) with ages between 11 and 16, from different backgrounds; and 50 teachers, mostly women of different age groups. The students questionnaire focused on media relevance, media use for leisure, level of competence in media use by young people, best media to share, communicate and to express and media attributes.

The teachers' questionnaire focused on media use for leisure, level of competence in media use by adults and finally on media use at school. 

Use of Media in Education Romanian Report

 

  • Target groups of the research: secondary and upper secondary school students and teachers

I. STUDENTS

  • Statistics

The 100 questionnaires were equally divided into girls (50) and boys (50) and were undertaken in 8 schools: 5 theoretical high schools (59 interviews); 2 national colleges (28 interviews) and 1 technical college (13 interviews).
The research involved 50 students with ages between 11-13 (25 girls and 25 boys) and 50 students with ages between 14-16 (25 girls and 25 boys).

  • Means of communication- Relevance

The students think that Internet, books and television are the most relevant means of communication and they attributed the highest scores to this media in relation with different statements. In opposition to these media, radio, newspapers, mobile and videogames are considered the less relevant means of communication.

The research reveals that Internet is the most relevant communication tool for the students. Through the Internet, they can learn new things (`knowing new things- 5.48 average), observe other realities (5.13 average), escape from problems (5.58 average), but they also find it relevant for entertainment (5.69 average), killing time (5.69 average), releasing emotions (4.69 average), being part of a group (5.17 average) or for sharing their knowledge/ interests (5.19 average). The Internet received the lowest scores in relation with the following statements: “reflecting on yourself” (3.8 average) and “thinking about social problems” (4.14 average).

The students find books relevant for bettering their knowledge (5.57 average), dreaming about a new way of living (4.97 average), reflecting on themselves (4.8 average), stimulating their creativity (5.35 average) and also for mastering topics of conversation (5.05 average).

Students consider TV the most relevant medium to follow their favorite celebrities (5.74 average), understanding different points of view (4.7 average) and thinking about social problems (4.44 average). At the same time, this medium is considered the less relevant when it comes to releasing emotions (2.88 average) and being part of a group (2.85 average).

Newspapers and videogames received the lowest scores in relation with the statements mentioned above. Videogames have the lowest score for “thinking about social problems” (1.53 average).

  • Media use for leisure

In their free time, the students use mostly cable and digital TV. 54% of the respondents (29 boys and 25 girls) say they watch cable TV regularly. The digital terrestrial TV is used regularly by 23% of the students (14 boys and only 9 girls).
The most unpopular form of television is the mobile TV. 72% of the respondents (32 boys and 40 girls) say that they do not use it.

45% of the students involved in the research (24 boys and 21 girls) say they use the car radio regularly and 24% of them (11 boys and 13 girls) use the mobile radio. Only 17% of the students (7 boys and 10 girls) use web radio regularly and 50% of them (22 boys and 28 girls) do not use broadcasting radio at all.

Pay press is the most used type of press but less in comparison with other media. 34% of the respondents (20 boys and 14 girls) use it regularly and 36% of them (16 boys and 20 girls) irregularly.
The free press is the most unpopular type of press among students. 56% of them (25 boys and 31 girls) say that they do not use it at all.
For the online press, the percentages are almost equally divided: 36%, 22 boys and only 14 girls say they use it regularly; 32% of the students say they use it on irregular basis and another 32% do not use it at all.

Videogames are used mostly by boys in their free time. Online videogames are most popular among students. 67% of the respondents use online interactive video games in their free time (36% regular use and 31% irregular use). The boys use it mostly on regular basis and the girls irregularly. The numbers are even higher when it comes to online videogames by themselves: 31% regular use (23 boys and only 8 girls) and 44% irregular use (19 boys and 25 girls).
Even if half of the students use the play station, only 7% of them, all boys, use it on regular basis. 18 girls out of 50 say they use the play station irregularly. The same situation applies to PSP.
XBOX and WII are the most unused videogames. 35 girls and 26 boys (61% out of total number of respondents) say they do not use this type of video games in their free time.

  • Internet use

99 students out of 100 say they use the Internet. 

  • Perception And Competence In Media Use

The students believe that people of their own age use the Internet mostly for communicating through instant messaging (64%), downloading (56%) and searching (53%).
Also, the students attribute high levels of competence to people their own age that use the Internet for those activities. Surfing is used rarely, but the students believe that those who surf the web do it at a high level of competence.
The rest of the activities related to the Internet receive a small percentage of use. The interviewed students believe that the following Internet activities are not popular among their peers: taking part in interactive games, interacting in virtual worlds, using social networks, taking part in specific forums, sharing files, watching TV, creating web pages or blogs etc.

The main activities that students associate with mobile phones are sending SMS/MMS (88%) and listening to music MP3 (83%). Over 60% of the students believe that young people are highly competent (level 6) when it comes to send messages or listen to music with the mobile phone.
33% of the students believe that young people use their mobile phones to make videos/ photos at an average level of competence and 40% of the respondents say that peers send and receive photos/ images/ music through Bluetooth at a high level of competence.
Students involved in the research consider additional facilities of mobile phones like video calling, surfing the Internet, playing games, listening to the radio, and watching TV etc. as not relevant among their peers.

Most of the students say that, in general, young people use the PC for painting and using graphics software (62%), for making musical compilations on CD (61%) and to make photo albums (43%). Respondents believe that peers handle PC for this aim with an average level of competence (between level 3 and level 5). Maximum score of competence was given to playing video games on computer.
Besides the set categories in the questionnaire, 42 % of the students identified other activities related to PC use among young people: creating and editing documents in Windows Office, listening to music, playing video games, surfing the Internet, photo scrape or watching movies.

All the respondents believe that young people of their age generally use the video camera to film sequences on their life events and almost half of the respondents believe that peers have a maximum level of competence in using the camera with this aim.
The other main activity related to video camera use is making an easy video editing (46% use), but the level of competence of the young people is an average one according to the students’ answers.
Other activities mentioned by the respondents in relation to video camera use are: entertainment, making a documentary for school, making videos with friends, music and easy learning and taking pictures.

  • Best Media To Share, To Communicate And To Express

Students believe that the best media for sharing are Internet, Yahoo Messenger and mobile phone.
Almost half of the respondents say that the best media to share emotions ARE the mobile phones (49%), followed by Yahoo Messenger (18%). The best media to share knowledge are Internet (46%) and Yahoo Messenger (23%). To share experiences, the students use mostly mobile phones (32%) and the Internet (31%). When it comes to share school material, the respondents believe that the best way to do it is through Internet (46%) and especially through Yahoo Messenger (23%). Photos, videos and written materials are best shared through Internet (50%) and especially through Yahoo Messenger (27%).

Most of the students believe that in general, the best way to communicate with their friends, parents or schoolmates is through mobile phone or Internet. The respondents prefer also to communicate with their parents face to face when it comes to a personal situation, pleasant/ unpleasant emotions or events, interests and hobbies.

Teenagers say that the best media to express their emotions, thoughts and experience are Internet (23% emotions, 28% thoughts and 33% experience); mobile phone (54% emotions, 25% thoughts and 23% experience) and Yahoo Messenger (7% emotions, 9% thoughts and 14% experience).

  • The Feeling Thermometer

According to the students’ responses, the hottest media are the Internet and the basic mobile phone (100 and 90 degrees) and the coldest media, that they do not feel favorable to, are the pay press and the traditional radio (0 degrees).
Within their justification, the students say that the Internet is wide, at hand, a great place where they can find information and a great communication tool. At the same time, basic mobile phones are useful communication instruments.
The respondents affirm that they do no like and do not use very often the pay press and the traditional radio because they find them boring or useless.
Generally, students offered to books 80 degrees, to mp3 player 70 degrees and to PSP 10 degrees on their feeling thermometer.

  • Media adjectives

Most of the students involved in the research agree that Internet is useful, interesting, fun, informative and cool. Main adjectives with which students identified TV, radio, newspapers and videogames are of opposing nature also (e.g. interesting vs. boring). TV is mostly associated with adjectives like informative, interesting, fun, boring and useful. Radio is at the same time boring and informative, useful, fun, relaxing or interesting. Newspapers are informative, useful, interesting and boring. For the interviewed teenagers, mobile phones are mainly useful; videogames are mostly fun, interesting and boring; books are interesting, boring, useful and educational; and PC is useful, fun and interesting.


II. TEACHERS

  • Statistics

7 male teachers and 43 female teachers from 5 theoretical high schools, 2 national colleges and 2 technical colleges filled in the 50 questionnaires. Half of the teachers are in the 36-50 age group, 30% in the 20-35 age group and 20% in the 51-65 age group.
22% of the respondents are social sciences teachers and 14% of them are English teachers. Other subjects taught by the teachers involved in the research are: chemistry, cinema and television techniques, constructions, French, geography, IT, mathematics, music, physics, religion, Romanian literature.

  • Media use for leisure

The respondents say that they mostly watch cable TV in their free time. 52% of the teachers use this type of TV regularly and 14% of them on irregular basis. Only a small percentage of the interviewed teachers use other types of television for leisure.

Teachers listen to the radio more than their students. Almost 50% of them use broadcasting radio (24% irregular use and 22% regular use) and car radio (28% regular use and 22% irregular use). 1 man and 9 women say they also use web radio, but mostly on irregular basis and only 8 women, mostly from the 20-35 age group, say they use mobile phones radio.
When it comes to newspapers, 70% of the teachers say they read them online and 56% of the teachers use pay press. 30% of respondents said they read free press on an irregularly basis.
All teachers use the Internet.

  • Perception and competence in media use

Teachers believe that the adults use the Internet mostly for searching information (84%) and have a high level of competence in this concern. Other main activities associated with this medium are communicating with electronic mail (48%) and web surfing (42%).

31 teachers out of 50 believe that the adults use the mobile phone mainly for making normal phone calls and have the highest level of competence for this activity. Also, 82% of the respondents believe that peers use the mobile phones to send sms/mms. Other types of activities related to this medium are considered irrelevant or not very accessible to adults: video calling; surfing on the Internet; playing games; listening to the radio; watching TV; or chatting.

35 teachers believe that the most important activity associated to the use of the PC, for the adults, is creating and editing office documents. The competence level for this activity is medium-high, situated between level 4 and level 6. Other activity that most teachers associated with PC use is making photo albums (58%).

90% of the teachers agreed that adults use the video camera in general for shooting sequences on events of their life. Only 30% of the respondents consider their peers have maximum competence to use video camera. According to 46% of the respondents, the video camera is also used by the adults for making an easy video editing at a medium level of competence.

  • Media use at school

The most used media at school are Internet, DVD, photos, newspapers and e-books. All of these media are mostly used as tools for teaching and only in a smaller percentage as objects of study.
Internet is mainly used for analysis (84%), on interdisciplinary basis (64%) and for individual (80%) and group work (70%) with the students, but also in simulation situations (26%).
Dvd is used for analysis (74%) and production (30%), within a single discipline (56%) and on interdisciplinary basis (58%), mostly in group work (78%), but also in individual work (50%) and for role-play exercises (22%).
Photographs are used in 56% of the cases as tool for teaching and in 24% as object of study. Half of the teachers say that they use photos in class for analysis and 30% of them for production. In 40% of the cases, this medium is used within a single discipline and also interdisciplinary. Half of the teachers use it in group work with the students and 44% of them for individual work.
E-books are used for analysis (28%), within autonomous disciplines (24%) and for individual (26%) and group work (22%).
According to the respondents answers, different forms of TV, radio, mp3player or video games are not included in the learning/ teaching process as much as the abovementioned media.

  • Educational functions of media

The respondents believe that from an educational point of view, television is better described by study, exploration, interest, pleasure and fun.
Dvd is used most of the time for study (36%).
Cinema is mainly associated with pleasure and fun; video camera with collaboration and creativity; newspapers with study, research, exploration; and radio is associated with interest and sharing.
The teachers believe that Internet has many educational functions, such as study, research, exploration, interest, motivation, collaboration, sharing, autonomy, creativity, pleasure and fun, but the most important remains exploration (54%).
The mobile phone represents collaboration and photographs are a symbol for creativity (16%) and self expression (10%).
Comic books are mainly used for creativity, pleasure and fun, video games are perceived as pleasure and fun and the books/ e-books represent study and research for a third of the teachers.
Finally, theatre is better described from an educational point of view by creativity, pleasure and fun; and music by motivation, pleasure and fun.

  • Main problems in the use of media at school

The teachers say that the main problems they came across in the use of different media in class are the economic problems (3.94 average out of 6), followed by infrastructural problems (3.50 average out of 6) and lack of cohesion with the official syllabus (3.06 average out of 6).
The problems identified as less important by the respondents are the lack of institutional recognition (2.14 average out of 6) and competence problems (2.20 average out of 6).

  • Multimedia laboratories

29 teachers out of 50 say they want to learn more about multimedia online teaching, 24 teachers about multimedia DVD, 23 teachers about audiovisual production and 22 teachers about the production of news at school.

ActiveWatch / CC BY 3.0