What Makes a New Subject Interesting?

I was cleaning out some old folders on my hard drive and came across this interesting USA Today poll result that I’d been keeping:

When children between the ages of 6-11 were asked, “What makes a new subject in school most interesting to me?”; the most common response was the Internet.

How do we explain these results?

Is there something intrinsically interesting in reading about a new topic on a web page versus a textbook page?

Is it more interesting to learn about a topic from web pages because they tend to use more media such as photos, graphics, and animations than a textbook or a standard teacher lecture?

Is the Internet the kids are referring to the Read Write Web where they interact with others and actively engage in conversations and building knowledge…say through a Wiki or blog?

Is it simply that kids love to be in control. Even at the youngest ages, (especially at the youngest ages) they like to manipulate things. Does sitting in front of a computer that is “their’s”, controlling the keyboard, the searching, and the finding, while maybe taking notes…feel especially empowering to them?

How would you explain the results of the survey?


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