The HomeworkNYC Apps project is a direct result of a series of focus groups with teens and tweens conducted in the fall of 2007. This research focused on uncovering how tweens and teens use the Internet for their homework needs.
Researchers discovered that students frequently start with Google and Wikipedia when performing research, rely on teacher-created web-based content, and look to their friends and online social networks for help in completing homework. Students in the focus groups also noted that the adults in their lives weren’t well aware of how young people use technology, and as a result couldn’t provide adequate support in that use.
Librarians in New York City libraries knew that they could provide resources for tweens and teens that supported homework needs, but the research showed that traditional methods was not the way to provide that support. Along with being big users of Google and Wikipedia for research, Tweens and teens are avid users of web 2.0 tools such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and more. New York City librarians knew if they could put the homework help and research together with web 2.0 they would have a way to help students successfully.
HomeworkNYC Apps make that connection. By providing these apps to students so that they can work on research straight from Facebook or iGoogle, means that they will be more likely to take advantage of the tools provided by city libraries.