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Updated data tools

Accompanying today’s release of the 2013 data we have updated CensusAtSchool’s data tools to have the same simple, clean look and feel that we introduced for the rest of the site late last year.

For data-viewer and table-maker the changes the user experiences are purely cosmetic. The way in which settings are chosen in random-sampler has changed and now provides some control of sample sizes from subpopulations.

All data tools now have a prominent “Help” button near the top of the page.

Use the data tools »

A story about Census at School will air during Afternoons with Jim Mora on Radio New Zealand National (101FM) today, Monday 22 July at 3.30pm, and a slightly longer version again during Our Changing World on Thursday 25 July.

Nichola Coe, Head of Maths at Kapiti College, is visited by Radio New Zealand to learn about CensusAtSchool. Nichola opens with this beautifully worded thought:

“I think there is a song to be sung behind every graphical representation.”

Professor Chris Wild and Rachel Cunliffe are also talked to.

Listen to the story:

Three-quarters of students aged 6 to 12 say they did homework the night before they completed a nationwide survey – and on average, that extra work took 53 minutes. A total of 69% of teenage students say they did homework, and that on average, they spent 1 hour 13 minutes doing it.

This insight has emerged from the educational project CensusAtSchool, which so far has involved more than 19,000 students from 600 schools answering questions about their lives. For the first time this year, CensusAtSchool asked students whether they had done homework the night before filling in the online survey, and how long they spent on it.

“The numbers are just a snapshot, but they are food for thought in the lively debate around homework,” says CensusAtSchool co-director Rachel Cunliffe. “It seems that everyone has an opinion on how much homework children should do – and more recently, we’ve seen some education experts suggesting that children are, perhaps, better off playing after school rather than studying.”

The survey also found that 74% of teen girls said they did homework the night before – but just 61% of teen boys. Some students said they did two or more hours of homework – 7% of all 6 to 12-year-olds and 15% of all 13 to 18-year-olds.

WHO’S DOING HOMEWORK?

Students who did homework the night before CensusAtSchool:
All, aged 6-12: 77%
All, aged 13-18: 69%

Average time on homework the night before CensusAtSchool:
All, aged 6-12: 53 mins
All aged 13-18: 1 hour 13 mins

Boys aged 6 to 12: 53 mins
Girls aged 6 to 12: 54 mins

Boys aged 13 to 18: 1 hour 5 mins
Girls aged 13 to 18: 1 hour 17 mins

Source: CensusAtSchool

Students were also asked to name their favourite singers or bands. Anyone with a daughter will not be at all surprised to hear that the girls’ favourite group is English-Irish boy band One Direction, formed out of the 2010 series of singing competition The X Factor in the United Kingdom. Next on the list is Taylor Swift, followed by Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber and Beyonce. For boys, the top of the list is American singer-songwriter Bruno Mars, followed by Eminem, Macklemore, Imagine Dragons, and Coldplay.

CensusAtSchool is a biennial online project that brings statistics to life in the classroom. Supervised by teachers, students aged between 10 and 18 (Year 5 to Year 13) answer 32 questions about their lives, many of them involving practical activities such as weighing and measuring, then become ‘data detectives’ as they analyse the results in class. This year, more than 1408 teachers have run CAS in their classrooms.

CensusAtSchool, now in its sixth edition, is a collaborative project involving teachers, the University of Auckland’s Department of Statistics, Statistics New Zealand and the Ministry of Education. It is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people, and is carried out in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the US, Japan and South Africa. The countries share some questions so comparisons can be made, but the majority reflect New Zealand students’ interests.

CensusAtSchool co-director Professor Chris Wild, of the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland, adds, “The survey produces data about kids, from kids, for kids, to enrich their learning about how to collect, explore and analyse data. But the project goes much further, by providing support to teachers.”

CensusAtSchool videos may now be downloaded so you can play them offline.

Look for the download button up the top left when playing a video:

download

Clicking on the download button will either download the file to your computer, or open the video file in a new window which you can then save.

This morning, Rachel Cunliffe spoke with Kathryn Ryan about the CensusAtSchool project:

teen-girls

Teenage schoolgirls are flocking to the microblogging service Twitter, according to early results from the educational project CensusAtSchool. One in three teenage schoolgirls (37%) has reported having a Twitter account, up from one in four (23%) in 2011.

CensusAtSchool co-director Rachel Cunliffe says the findings mirror overseas trends around Twitter, which was launched in 2006 and allows its users to send and read “tweets” of up to 140 characters each.

“The Pew Internet & American Life Project in the US has also found much higher use of Twitter by teen girls than teen boys,” she says. “One explanation for this could be that teenage girls are generally more social and more communicative than teenage boys, and use Twitter to keep in touch with their friends.”

CensusAtSchool, which started on May 6 and runs until June 15, is a biennial online project that brings statistics to life in the classroom. Supervised by teachers, students aged between 10 and 18 (Year 5 to Year 13) answer 32 questions about their lives, many of them involving practical activities such as weighing and measuring, then analyse the results in class. This year, more than 1236 teachers from 565 schools all over New Zealand are running CAS in their classrooms, and the social media results are always of great interest to their students. The snapshot comes from the first 10,000 respondents.

But it seems their love affair with Facebook has peaked. Since the last CensusAtSchool, in 2011, there has been no real change in the number of teenage school students with Facebook accounts. In 2009, just 33% of teens had a Facebook page, but by 2011, that figure had risen to 83%. This year, 83% said they had a Facebook page.

“There comes a point where it’s not really possible to grow the numbers anymore,” says Cunliffe. “Facebook uptake among school students may well be at its limit. It will be fascinating to how those numbers have changed when we run the next CensusAtSchool in 2015.”

But the future looks shakier for the once-popular social networks Bebo and MySpace – they appear to be slipping from New Zealand teens’ lives altogether. In 2009, 63% of teenage school students had a Bebo page, but by 2011 that had fallen to 27%, and this year reached a new low of 11%. The music-focused MySpace has had an even worse trajectory, slipping from 17% in 2009 to 7% in 2011. This year, despite a January relaunch, MySpace hit 6%.

“Teens are early adopters of new social networks and apps and are quite happy to start afresh, setting up and building new profiles,” says Cunliffe. “Many teens don’t know what Bebo is now, yet it was the dominant social network only a few years ago.”

CensusAtSchool, now in its sixth edition, is a collaborative project involving teachers, the University of Auckland’s Department of Statistics, Statistics New Zealand and the Ministry of Education. It is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people, and is carried out in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the US, Japan and South Africa. The countries share some questions so comparisons can be made, but the majority reflect New Zealand students’ interests.

Thanks to Khandu Patel of Dyer St School for sending in this story about CensusAtSchool in the Hutt News: