In a time of desktops and laptops, iPads and smart phones, the ways students learn are changing. We asked pupils at local schools how often they turned to the Internet in their studies and whether they felt that using the Internet for research meant they did more or less schoolwork than before. We also asked what sort of Internet devices they prefer. Here’s how they answered – via e-mail, of course.

Brittany Ketchup

“I use an Internet-connected device for schoolwork fairly often. On average, I use my laptop 20 hours a week for homework, studying and research. Without the Internet, I would do less schoolwork, because most of my assignments are assigned and submitted using the Internet. I also use various websites to help me when I need clarity on assignments.”
Brittany Ketchup
Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School

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Tyler Warnock

I use the Internet for school work almost every day, either to submit assignments on line or to do research for projects.  Without the Internet, I would probably do more schoolwork, because I would be less likely to be distracted by sites like Facebook or YouTube.”
Tyler Warnock
Marist School

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Katie Beech

“[I use the Internet] almost every day, usually to look up something or to type up a paper.  [I do] probably more work because teachers would make up for the Internet with worksheets and hand-written assignments. [I use a] desktop computer.”
Katie Beech
Chamblee Charter High School

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Alex Richard

“I use an Internet-connected device for school work around 3-5 times per day.  I think that I’d spend more time doing school work each day without the distractions of the Internet, but I’d also get less done: quick research, online math or translation utilities, and free software are very helpful.”
Alex Richard
Atlanta International School

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Mallory Hope

“I use the Internet for my schoolwork every day, doing research for my history class or International Baccalaureate  extended essay.  I like Questia on-line library or Google Books to search for obscure texts that I couldn’t find otherwise. I think I would do less work without the Internet because I wouldn’t have access to as many resources.”
Mallory Hope
Riverwood International Charter High School

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Brian Brandt

“I would definitely get less accomplished without the Internet. E-mail is a huge source of communication for me; I use it for keeping up with drama rehearsals, tennis practice, not to mention the college application process. I couldn’t have taken Georgia Tech Calculus 2 and 3 without the resource of our distance learning lab at North Springs High School and, of course, a computer and Internet for getting the on-line class notes.”
Brian Brandt
North Springs Charter High School

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Whit Weinmann

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“[I use the Internet] daily. I use my computer or iPod touch for at least 30 minutes to do schoolwork. The Internet has been useful in contacting and collaborating with peers.
I would do the same amount of work with or without Internet. I complete all the homework regardless of whether I am connected to Internet or not. Sometimes I am distracted on a computer, so I shut the screen and continue my work. With Internet, I can quickly access information I would have otherwise not experienced.  Recently, I was interested in vectors, so I watched an MIT video on the topic.”
Whit Weinmann
The Westminster Schools

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Caius McWhirter

[I use the Internet] once each day in the afternoon to do my school work. I would do less school work without the Internet. [I use a] desktop computer.
Caius McWhirter
Chamblee Charter High School

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David Fadel

Although we do have great book references, on-line resources truly turn out to be almost a necessity to a teenager going through high school. Nearly all of my teachers post their assignments to a blog, so that there is never any confusion as to what and when something is due. It truly helps, especially if I have been absent a day. Most of these posted assignments have very short deadlines depending on the rigor of the course and as students load their schedules with more rigorous classes, piles of work load up on us within a short time period. Having the ability to access the material on line, gather the needed knowledge quickly, and meet the deadlines has turned out to be one the most valuable ways to excel at North Springs.
David Fadel
North Springs Charter High School

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Sarah Zoellick

I use Internet-connected devices such as my cell phone and computer daily to do homework and communicate with friends and teachers. My school has an email network we use to get in touch with teachers and collaborate with peers. We also have a Moodle site where teachers post homework assignments, forums, and internet links.  This year I am participating in a pilot problem-solving course, Synergy 8. In this course, my team is working on integrating internet-connected mobile devices into classes so we can have information at our finger tips and better collaborate. I think the Internet helps me work faster because of the many ways it can be used to aid learning and the many useful Web-based tools.
Sarah Zoellick
The Westminster Schools