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Posts in category 'Teens'

19 August 2014

Consumer Insights: The Music Experience in 2014

MusicPhoto

Today, music is as emotionally relevant as ever – and consumers have a myriad of ways to experience it, from streaming and downloading to live concerts and more. Thanks to social media, fans also have unprecedented access to their favorite artists.

Given these changes in the music landscape, the Music Group, which includes MTV, VH1 and CMT, conducted research into the “Music Experience,” taking a deep look into the ever-evolving process of discovering and obtaining music among teens, 20- and 30-somethings, as well as what the fan-music-artist connection looks like in 2014.

The study is based on a quantitative survey with more than 1,200 participants 13-40 years old; “blographies” with 34 participants; secondary research; as well as check-ins with proprietary panels and Facebook groups.

Key findings here.

23 December 2013

Ethnographic research: Facebook is basically dead and buried with UK teenagers

 

As part of a European Union-funded study on social media (make sure to check also the UCL site and blog on the same project), the Department of Anthropology at University College London is running nine simultaneous 15-month ethnographic studies in seven countries (small towns in Brazil, China (2), India, Italy, Trinidad, Turkey and the UK). Interesting insights from the UK:

“What we’ve learned from working with 16-18 year olds in the UK is that Facebook is not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried. Mostly they feel embarrassed even to be associated with it. Where once parents worried about their children joining Facebook, the children now say it is their family that insists they stay there to post about their lives. Parents have worked out how to use the site and see it as a way for the family to remain connected. In response, the young are moving on to cooler things.

Instead, four new contenders for the crown have emerged: Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp. This teaches us a number of important lessons about winning the app war.”

20 November 2013

Teens in the digital age

 

Two talks on teens in the digital age:

The App Generation: identity, intimacy and imagination in the digital era (video – 21:18)
Talk at The RSA, London, UK – October 2, 2013
Today’s young people have grown up almost totally immersed in digital media. But have we really begun to take full stock of the impact that living in the digital era has on young people’s creativity and aspirations?
Drawing upon a unique body of new research, father of the theory of multiple intelligences, Professor Howard Gardner, an American developmental psychologist at Harvard University, explores the particular challenges facing today’s “App Generation” as they as they navigate three vital areas of adolescent life – identity, intimacy and imagination – in a digital world.
Addressing the areas in which digital technologies can both positively and negatively affect relationships, personal and creative growth, Gardner looks at how we might venture beyond the ways that apps are designed to be used, to ensure that technologies act as a springboard to greater creativity and higher aspiration.

It’s Complicated: Teen Privacy in a Networked Age (video – 22:14)
Talk held at Family Online Safety Institute, Washington, DC, USA – November 6, 2013
Dr. danah boyd, a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, expanding on her new book It’s Complicated (Amazon link).

Perhaps not surprisingly, Howard Gardner (born in 1943) and danah boyd (born in 1977) come to quite different conclusions. boyd’s talk is quite consistent by a great one by Tricia Wang at EPIC in London, by the way.

By the way, note Boyd’s definition of privacy: “Privacy is not simply the control of the flow of information, but it is in many ways the control of a social situation.”

2 November 2013

Book: The App Generation

theappgeneration

The App Generation
How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World
Howard Gardner and Katie Davis
Yale University Press
October 2013, 256 pages
[Yale University Press linkAmazon link]

Abstract
No one has failed to notice that the current generation of youth is deeply—some would say totally—involved with digital media. Professors Howard Gardner and Katie Davis name today’s young people The App Generation, and in this spellbinding book they explore what it means to be “app-dependent” versus “app-enabled” and how life for this generation differs from life before the digital era. Gardner and Davis are concerned with three vital areas of adolescent life: identity, intimacy, and imagination. Through innovative research, including interviews of young people, focus groups of those who work with them, and a unique comparison of youthful artistic productions before and after the digital revolution, the authors uncover the drawbacks of apps: they may foreclose a sense of identity, encourage superficial relations with others, and stunt creative imagination. On the other hand, the benefits of apps are equally striking: they can promote a strong sense of identity, allow deep relationships, and stimulate creativity. The challenge is to venture beyond the ways that apps are designed to be used, Gardner and Davis conclude, and they suggest how the power of apps can be a springboard to greater creativity and higher aspirations.

Authors
Howard Gardner is Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and senior director of Harvard Project Zero, an educational research group. He is renowned as father of the theory of multiple intelligences. He lives in Cambridge, MA.
Katie Davis is assistant professor, University of Washington Information School, where she studies the role of digital media technologies in adolescents’ lives. She is a former member of the Project Zero team. She lives in Seattle, WA.

> New York Times review

6 June 2013

Technology puts power in the hands of the Millennial Generation

millennial

This week the Financial Times has run two reports on the Millennial Generation.

Part Two (pdf) came out today, whereas Part One is from June 3.

Part Two’s leading article is definitely worth exploring, particularly in how it connects technology and mobile devices with empowerment of a new generation:

“Technology has played a huge role in how they’re different from the ­generation that came before them,” says Jean Case, chief executive of the Case Foundation, which she and her husband Steve Case, AOL’s co-founder, created in 1997.

This generation sees technology as levelling the playing field. In the FT-Telefónica Global Millennials Survey of 18 to 30-year olds almost 70 per cent of respondents said “technology creates more opportunities for all” as opposed to “a select few”.

This belief has brought tremendous confidence to the world’s first generation of digital natives, despite facing the worst economic outlook since the great depression.”

More background also in this article.

4 June 2013

A beautiful kids’ book that combines interactivity with good old-fashioned text

monster

The Jörgits and the End of Winter, an indie fantasy novel for kids nine and up, uses interactivity as a supplement to the story, not a stand-in for it, and shows how interactivity can work in a slightly more substantial text.

The app was created by Anders Sandell, a Finnish-born interaction designer who grew up in Hawaii, studied Chinese language and literature as an undergrad, earned a masters in NYU’s ITP program, and recently wrapped up a three-year stint establishing a toy design program at the Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology, in Bangalore, India. Unsurprisingly, diversity and community are main themes of the designer’s book.

19 February 2013

Teenage usability: designing teen-targeted websites

 

Recently published Nielsen/Norman Group research shows that teens are (over)confident in their web abilities, but they perform worse than adults. Lower reading levels, impatience, and undeveloped research skills reduce teens’ task success and require simple, relatable sites.

7 February 2013

Recent studies on the impact of tablet use in schools – an overview

 

2012

One-to-one Tablets in Secondary Schools: An Evaluation Study
(see also here and here)
Dr Barbie Clarke and Siv Svanaes, Family Kids and Youth, UK, 2012
Research was carried out between September 2011 and July 2012 and included a literature review, a review of global evaluation studies, and an evaluation of three secondary schools in Belfast, Kent and Essex that had chosen to give pupils one-to-one tablets in September 2011.

iPad Scotland Evaluation Study
(see also here)
Kevin Burden, Paul Hopkins, Dr Trevor Male, Dr Stewart Martin, Christine Trala, University of Hull, UK, 2012
Case study of mobile technology adoption from eight individual educational locations in Scotland that differ significantly in terms of demographics, infrastructure, the approach of the Local Authority and readiness to implement the use of tablet technology for learning and teaching.

Learning is Personal, Stories of Android Tablet Use in the 5th Grade
(see also here)
Marie Bjerede and Tzaddi Bondi, Learning Untethered, USA, 2012
Project explored the differences in student performance using tablets for writing versus using the more traditional netbooks, as well as the appropriateness of Android devices as an alternative to the popular iOS devices.

The iPad as a Tool for Education – A study on the introduction of iPads at Longfield Academy, Kent
Jan Webb, NAACE, UK, 2012
Research on how the use of tablets in a Kent school impacts teaching and learning.

Decoding Learning: The proof, promise and potential of digital education
Rosemary Luckin, Brett Bligh, Andrew Manches, Shaaron Ainsworth, Charles Crook, Richard Noss, NESTA, UK, 2012
Nesta commissioned the London Knowledge Lab (LKL) and Learning Sciences Research Institute (LSRI), University of Nottingham, to analyse how technology has been used in the UK education systems and lessons from around the world, in order to set a clear framework for better understanding the impact on learning experiences.

23 Monate #iPadKAS: Review 2012 und Perspektiven (in German)
A.J. Spang, Kaiserin Augusta Schule, Cologne, Germany, 2012
Report on a 23 month iPad program in a German school.

iPad Trial – Is the iPad suitable as a learning tool in schools?
Smart Classrooms, Department of Education and Training, Queensland Government, Australia, 2012
A study in two schools on the use of the iPad, as part of the Queensland Department of Education and Training’s technology initiatives.

2011

Beyond Textbooks: Year One Report
Virgina Department of Education, USA, 2011
Findings on the implications of introducing traditional textbook alternatives into fifteen pilot classrooms

What do Students Think of Using iPads in Class? Pilot Survey Results
Sam Gliksman, School Director at Los Angeles High School and editor of iPadsInEducation, USA, 2011
Results of survey of 126 students.

“There’s an App for That”: A Study Using iPads in a United States History Classroom
Emily R. Carcia, USA, 2011
Study investigates the effect of Apple iPads on achievement in an eleventh grade U.S. history classroom. Spefically, the research explored the impact of the Explore 9/11 application on student achievement.

How are students actually using IT? An ethnographic study
Christopher Cooley, Thomas M. Malaby and David Stack, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA, 2011
An anthropological ethnographic analysis of student practices relating to the use of information technology on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) campus.

2011 Horizon Report for K12 Education
Larry Johnson, Leslie Conery and Keith Krueger, New Media Consortium, USA, 2011
The NMC Horizon Report series is a research venture that identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to have a large impact over the coming five years in education around the globe.

2010

The Technology Factor: Nine Keys to Student Achievement and Cost-Effectiveness
Thomas W. Greaves, Jeanne Hayes, Leslie Wilson, Michael Gielniak, and R. Peterson, Project RED, Pearson Foundation, USA, 2010
A detailed report looking at the use of technology in the education sector. The report examines 997 schools and produces outputs for 11 diverse education success measures and 22 categories of independent variables (with many subcategories).

Looking to the future: M-learning with the iPad
Karen Melhuish and Garry Falloon, New Zealand, 2010
Paper explores the potential affordances and limitations of the Apple iPad in the wider context of emergent mobile learning theory, and the social and economic drivers that fuel technology development.

The Effects of Tablets on Pedagogy
Jeremy Vrtis, National-Louis University, USA, 2010
The study examines the effects tablet computers have on the pedagogy of instructors, and students’ perspectives of the instructional uses of the tablet.

11 November 2012

Finally a serious research study on tablet use in schools

 

Although there are many tablet deployments in schools worldwide, there is a glaring lack of serious research on what actually happens in the classrooms with these devices. In fact, there is so far no aggregated evidence that tablet technology significantly aids learning. Obviously, official endorsement for the widespread use of tablets in schools cannot really happen without substantiated, independent evidence to convincingly prove the case for tablet technology.

Carphone Warehouse (corporate site), a UK mobile phone retailer, recently commissioned the Family Kids and Youth research agency to conduct a qualitative study of schools situated in Belfast, Kent and Essex where children are already benefiting from tablet use. The aim of the research, which ran from April to July 2012, was to find out more about how tablets are actually being used in education.

Family Kids and Youth carried out focus groups and ethnography at one of the schools (Honywood Community Science School, Coggeshall, Essex), interviewing pupils, staff and teachers, and observing the way in which different subjects and age groups used tablets in learning. Research was also undertaken with teachers, pupils and parents in one control school and two primary schools. In addition, an online quantitative research study was carried out between 22 June – 2 July with a UK nationally representative sample of 1,120 parents of children aged 3-16, 933 children aged 7-16, and 202 teachers.

The research findings (pdf) are generally rather positive (assuming that Family Kids and Youth has done its research properly, given the obvious interest of Carphone Warehouse in tablet sales): tablets enhance learning, improve communication, engage and motivate pupils, and stimulate proactive querying, initiative taking and creativity. Interestingly, the study points out that particularly less engaged pupils, those who had previously struggled with their homework, and pupils with special educational needs appear to be benefiting most from tablet use in schools (read the short report for more details).

Often cited fears – about distraction, misuse such as gaming and texting, time spent, theft, loss of writing skills, challenges in terms of classroom management – were clearly not confirmed by reality.

Yet, it is worthwhile underlining what Carphone Warehouse considered to be three primary issues regarding the use of tablet technology in schools (as summarised in the introduction of a follow-up project that is running during the school year 2012-2013):
1. A lack of specialised training for teachers around the use of tablet technology
2. Concerns for students when faced with sitting traditional paper-based examinations
3. The growing mass of unregulated content in the app world and the lack of appropriate interactive content
(“Teachers have the impression that educational publishers are merely publishing text books in the form of an app without fully appreciating the possibilities that tablets can offer.”)

If you read French, you may also be interested in the dossier “Tablette tactile et enseignement (école, collège, lycée)” – on the website of the French Ministry of Education. The (very long) web page provides an overview of what is currently going on in France, contains many links, but does unfortunately not include a deeper analysis (unless you delve deeper into the linked reports, such as this one from Paris and this one from Fribourg, Switzerland).

6 November 2012

How teens do research in the digital world

 

According to Pew Internet research, the teachers who instruct the most advanced American secondary school students render mixed verdicts about students’ research habits and the impact of technology on their studies. More in particular, they say that students’ digital literacy skills are weak and that courses or content focusing on digital literacy must be incorporated into every school’s curriculum.

Some 77% of advanced placement (AP) and National Writing Project (NWP) teachers surveyed say that the internet and digital search tools have had a “mostly positive” impact on their students’ research work. But 87% say these technologies are creating an “easily distracted generation with short attention spans” and 64% say today’s digital technologies “do more to distract students than to help them academically.”

According to this survey of teachers, conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project in collaboration with the College Board and the National Writing Project, the internet has opened up a vast world of information for today’s students, yet students’ digital literacy skills have yet to catch up:

  • Virtually all (99%) AP and NWP teachers in this study agree with the notion that “the internet enables students to access a wider range of resources than would otherwise be available,” and 65% agree that “the internet makes today’s students more self-sufficient researchers.”
  • At the same time, 76% of teachers surveyed “strongly agree” with the assertion that internet search engines have conditioned students to expect to be able to find information quickly and easily.
  • Large majorities also agree with the notion that the amount of information available online today is overwhelming to most students (83%) and that today’s digital technologies discourage students from using a wide range of sources when conducting research (71%).
  • Fewer teachers, but still a majority of this sample (60%), agree with the assertion that today’s technologies make it harder for students to find credible sources of information.
  • Given these concerns, it is not surprising that 47% of these teachers strongly agree and another 44% somewhat believe that courses and content focusing on digital literacy should be incorporated into every school’s curriculum.
27 April 2012

How mobile technologies are shaping a new generation

 

Some interesting data by Tamara J. Erickson on what she calls the “Re-Generation”: individuals at the formative ages of 11 to 13, those born after about 1995 [which, by the way, has a gap of three years].

“My interest is how swimming in this digital soup has shaped the young generation’s view of the world. What assumptions have they formed? Four themes emerge:

A pervasive sense of connection: Connectivity is the basic assumption and natural fabric of everyday life for the Re-Generation. Technology connections are how people meet, express ideas, define identities, and understand each other. Older generations have, for the most part, used technology to improve productivity — to do things we’ve always done, faster, easier, more cheaply. For the Re-Generation, being wired is a way of life.

Options (not obligations): Because technology is so intimately intertwined with the Re-Gen’s sense of self, they control it in a way that older individuals often don’t. While Boomers or X’ers may feel obligated to respond to the technology, the Re-Gen’s use the technology with choice – on their own schedule, at their own pace.

Anonymity and the ability to hide: By connecting through technology, Re-Gens reduce the need to connect face-to-face. Many have friends they’ve never met with whom they interact regularly. This creates a strange sense of anonymity — they can be everywhere if they choose to post or, depending on their preference, nowhere. Physical appearances can be replaced with avatars. The alarming epidemic of childhood obesity may be related to this generation’s ability to hide.

Confidence and control . . . to be an initiator, designer, problem-solver: This is a generation that is used to asking big questions — and is confident of finding answers. Will the water run out? How many children travel to school in a sustainable way? Are cities a good idea? Let’s check the Internet. They have had the experience of digging deeply into a burning question because they have access to a mountain of information.”

Read article

17 March 2012

“Doing the Internet” – BoP research with youngsters in India

 

Anthropology, Development and ICTs: Slums, Youth and the Mobile Internet in Urban India” is the title of a research paper by Nimmi Rangaswamy and Edward Cutrell of Microsoft Research India.

Abstract

In this paper we present results from an anthropological study of everyday mobile internet adoption among teenagers in a lowincome urban setting. We attempt to use this study to explore how information about everyday ICT use may be relevant for development research even if it is largely dominated by entertainment uses.

To understand how ICT tools are used, we need to study the spaces users inhabit, even if these spaces are dominated by mundane, non-instrumental and entertainment driven needs. The key here is for ICTD discourse to situate insights from anthropological studies (such as this one) within an understanding of what drives a specific user population to adopt technologies in particular ways. Clearly there is a link between context and use, and understanding this may be invaluable for development research. Adopting a narrow development lens of technology use may miss the actual engagements and ingenious strategies marginal populations use to instate technologies into their everyday.

Download paper
Key findings (synthesis by MobileActive)

24 February 2012

Youth and Digital Media: From Credibility to Information Quality – New Report from the Berkman Center

youthmedia

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University published a substantial new report from the Youth and Media project: “Youth and Digital Media: From Credibility to Information Quality” by Urs Gasser, Sandra Cortesi, Momin Malik, & Ashley Lee.

Building upon a process- and context-oriented information quality framework, this paper seeks to map and explore what we know about the ways in which young users of age 18 and under search for information online, how they evaluate information, and how their related practices of content creation, levels of new literacies, general digital media usage, and social patterns affect these activities.

A review of selected literature at the intersection of digital media, youth, and information quality—primarily works from library and information science, sociology, education, and selected ethnographic studies—reveals patterns in youth’s information-seeking behavior, but also highlights the importance of contextual and demographic factors both for search and evaluation.

Looking at the phenomenon from an information-learning and educational perspective, the literature shows that youth develop competencies for personal goals that sometimes do not transfer to school, and are sometimes not appropriate for school. Thus far, educational initiatives to educate youth about search, evaluation, or creation have depended greatly on the local circumstances for their success or failure.

Key Findings:
1. Search shapes the quality of information that youth experience online.
2. Youth use cues and heuristics to evaluate quality, especially visual and interactive elements.
3. Content creation and dissemination foster digital fluencies that can feed back into search and evaluation behaviors.
4. Information skills acquired through personal and social activities can benefit learning in the academic context.

To access the full report (150 pages) and additional material, please visit: http://youthandmedia.org/infoquality

21 September 2011

Digital AlterNatives with a Cause?

Digital AlterNatives
Hivos (The Netherlands) and the Centre for Internet and Society (Bangalore, India) have consolidated their three year knowledge inquiry into the field of youth, technology and change in a four book collective “Digital AlterNatives with a cause?”.

This collaboratively produced collective, edited by Nishant Shah and Fieke Jansen, asks critical and pertinent questions about theory and practice around ‘digital revolutions’ in a post MENA (Middle East – North Africa) world. It works with multiple vocabularies and frameworks and produces dialogues and conversations between digital natives, academic and research scholars, practitioners, development agencies and corporate structures to examine the nature and practice of digital natives in emerging contexts from the Global South.

The conversations, research inquiries, reflections, discussions, interviews, and art practices are consolidated in this four part book which deviates from the mainstream imagination of the young people involved in processes of change. The alternative positions, defined by geo-politics, gender, sexuality, class, education, language, etc. find articulations from people who have been engaged in the practice and discourse of technology mediated change. Each part concentrates on one particular theme that helps bring coherence to a wide spectrum of style and content.

Book 1: To Be: Digital AlterNatives with a Cause?
The first part, To Be, looks at the questions of digital native identities. Are digital natives the same everywhere? What does it mean to call a certain population ‘Digital Natives”? Can we also look at people who are on the fringes – Digital Outcasts, for example? Is it possible to imagine technology-change relationships not only through questions of access and usage but also through personal investments and transformations? The contributions help chart the history, explain the contemporary and give ideas about what the future of technology mediated identities is going to be.

Book 2: To Think: Digital AlterNatives with a Cause?
In the second section, To Think, the contributors engage with new frameworks of understanding the processes, logistics, politics and mechanics of digital natives and causes. Giving fresh perspectives which draw from digital aesthetics, digital natives’ everyday practices, and their own research into the design and mechanics of technology mediated change, the contributors help us re-think the concepts, processes and structures that we have taken for granted. They also nuance the ways in which new frameworks to think about youth, technology and change can be evolved and how they provide new ways of sustaining digital natives and their causes.

Book 3: To Act: Digital AlterNatives with a Cause?
To Act is the third part that concentrates on stories from the ground. While it is important to conceptually engage with digital natives, it is also, necessary to connect it with the real life practices that are reshaping the world. Case-studies, reflections and experiences of people engaged in processes of change, provide a rich empirical data set which is further analysed to look at what it means to be a digital native in emerging information and technology contexts.

Book 4: To Connect: Digital AlterNatives with a Cause?
The last section, To Connect, recognises the fact that digital natives do not operate in vacuum. It might be valuable to maintain the distinction between digital natives and immigrants, but this distinction does not mean that there are no relationships between them as actors of change. The section focuses on the digital native ecosystem to look at the complex assemblage of relationships that support and are amplified by these new processes of technologised change.

(via Luca De Biase)

25 January 2011

Connected they write

Girl with laptop
Raquel Recuero (blog) is an associate professor at the Departments of Applied Linguistics and Social Communication in Universidade Católica de Pelotas (UCPel) in Brazil. Her research focuses on Internet social networks, virtual communities and computer mediated-communication in general, trying to understand the impact of the Internet in sociability and language in South America and Brazil.

In an article for DMLcentral.net she writes about the positive impact that the massive adoption of digital media in the everyday life of teens in Latin America is having on literacy, learning, reading, and especially, writing.

“In Chile, for example, more than 96 percent of all students have Internet access. In Brazil, almost 80 percent of the population between 16 and 24 years and almost 70 percent of those aged 10 to 15 accessed the Internet in 2009. With that kind of penetration, digital media is creating new ways to understand literacy, learning, reading, and especially, writing. Far from hurting the writing practices for youth, digital media seems to be creating a far more complex and compelling space for them to flourish.”

DMLcentral.net is the online presence for the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub located at the systemwide University of California Humanities Research Institute and hosted at the UC Irvine campus.

Read article

2 October 2010

Talk by anthropologist Mimi Ito in Milan

Mimi Ito
Yesterday cultural anthropologist Mimi Ito spoke on the impact of technology on teen and youth culture at the Meet The Media Guru event in Milan, Italy. The video is available online.

Cultural anthropologist, with degrees from Harvard and Stanford, Mimi Ito co-directed the Digital Youth Project, which was funded by the MacArthur Foundation and focused on new m-Learning scenarios. The project has become an important point of reference for those studying the relationship between teens and new media.

The three-year Digital Youth Project researched kids’ and teens’ informal learning through digital media, with a particular focus on the day-to-day use and the impact of these new technologies on learning, play and social interaction.

The results of the project are encapsulated in the report, Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project, and the book Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media.

Mimi explored a vast range of social activities that are “augmented” by digital technology: online gaming, virtual communities, production and consumptin of children’s software, and the relationship between children and new media.

She is also specialised in amateur content production and peer-to-peer learning.

She teaches at the Department of Informatics of the University of California, Irvine, and at Kejo University in Kanagawa, Japan. She has also worked for the Institute for Research and Learning, Xerox PARC, Tokyo University, the National Institute for Educational Research in Japan, and for Apple Computer.

Her new book on Otaku culture, the Japanese term for children that have an obsessive interest in video games and manga, will be published shortly.

Mimi Ito joined the Wiki Foundation Advisory Board in June of this year.

Watch video (Mimi starts speaking at 19:30)

29 September 2010

In study, children cite appeal of digital reading

Scholastic
Many children want to read books on digital devices, while parents worry that technology will distract young bookworms, according to a survey by the publisher Scholastic. The New York Times reports:

“Many children want to read books on digital devices and would read for fun more frequently if they could obtain e-books. But even if they had that access, two-thirds of them would not want to give up their traditional print books.

These are a few of the findings in a study being released on Wednesday by Scholastic, the American publisher of the Harry Potter books and the “Hunger Games” trilogy.

The report set out to explore the attitudes and behaviors of parents and children toward reading books for fun in a digital age. Scholastic surveyed more than 2,000 children ages 6 to 17, and their parents, in the spring.”

Read article

2 September 2010

Basque PhD thesis on relationship of youth today with new technologies

Lucia Merino
A few days ago sociologist Ms Lucía Merino presented her PhD thesis entitled, Digital natives: a study of the technological socialisation of young people, at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU).

“Considering that young people nowadays are natives of the so-called digital culture, Ms Merino explored their relationship with the new technologies and how they learn and socialise through them. With this research, the author wished to set out guidelines as a basis to continue studying the so-called digital natives in the future.

Ms Merino used, for example, data from EUSTAT (the Basque Institute for Statistics) as a source of information for her thesis but, above all, she undertook an ethnographic study of 306 students between 14 and 17 from three secondary schools in the Basque province of Bizkaia (capital Bilbao). […]

the thesis underlines the phenomenon of socialising on the Net. Young people use the new technologies as a means of relationship and interaction, and mainly within the context of leisure. For them they are tools that bring them closer to their peers. As regards this, and in the case of Internet, the PhD reminds us that on the Net everything can be seen and shown. According to the study, this represents great symbolic satisfaction for young people, and they themselves accept practices on the Internet where they can see and be seen.”

Read article

(I have not been able to find the thesis online, and will update this post if I can find it)

21 August 2010

If technology is making us stupid, it’s not technology’s fault

Kids and computers
There has been growing concern that computers have failed to live up to the promise of improving learning for school kids. The New York Times, The Washington Post, and PBS have all done stories recently calling into question the benefits of computers in schools. But, says David Theo Goldberg in a sophisticated article on DMLcentral, when computers fail kids, it’s too easy to blame the technology.

“Unlike television, and perhaps more like automobiles, computers are far from passive consumptive technologies. They enable, if not encourage, interactive engagement, creativity, and participatory interaction with others. The interaction can assume various forms, not all productive. Yet like the appealing impacts of both television and automobile access for youth, the productive and creative capacities of computing technology for ordinary users are staggering. The question then is not the false dilemma between unqualified good and evil, but how best to enable the productive learning possibilities of new digital technologies.”

Read article

21 August 2010

The Internet Generation prefers the real world

Germany sports
They may have been dubbed the “Internet generation,” but young people are more interested in their real-world friends than Facebook. New research shows that the majority of children and teenagers are not the Web-savvy digital natives of legend. Der Spiegel reports.

“Young people primarily use the Internet to interact with friends. They go on social networking sites like Facebook and the popular German website SchülerVZ, which is aimed at school students, to chat, mess around and show off — just like they do in real life. […]

“Most of the respondents saw the Internet as merely a useful extension of the old world rather than as a completely new one. Their relationship to the medium is therefore far more pragmatic than initially posited.”

Read article