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Consider this data, obtained from an AP-AOL survey about the use of "instant messaging":

  • 48% of the teens (ages 13-18) use instant messaging, which is more than twice the percentage of adults who use it Almost 75% of the teens send instant messages more than e-mail, while 75% of the adults who do use instant messageing, communicate with e-mail more often
  • More than 50% of the teens send more than 25 instant messages a day and 20% send more than 100 instant messages, while 75% of the adult users send fewer than 25 messages
  • 30% of the teens (compared to 17% of the adults) say they cannot imagine "life without instant messaging"
  • When sharing serious or confidential news, both teens and adults prefer to user the telephone
Knowledge Networks conducted the survey of 1013 adults and 500 teens (from November 30 - December 3, 2006). The margin of sampling error was 4 percentage points for the adults and 5.5. percentage points for the teens.

Task: Have students conduct a survey similar to this in their own school system (teens and adults). What factors have to be controlled? How does their data compare to the given survey? And finally, determine the sampling error, etc.

Source: boston.com/news/education, December 17, 2006