Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Teenagers Online

G is for Geeked Out
G is for Geeked Out,
originally uploaded by DefMo.
While preparing for a lecture, I came across a press release about a survey from MTV, Nickelodeon and Microsoft. It looks really interesting but, as yet, I've not been able to track down the original report. However, the press release from PR Newswire, a report on the Financial Times website and especially a report on PublicTechnology net give a flavour of what's in the survey.

Here are a few of the things that stood out for me:
  • The average 16-24 year old in the UK has 49 friends (7 close and 16 online friends they have never met), has 86 buddies on IM list and is a member of three online social networks.
  • Almost all young people are using technology to enhance rather than replace face-to-face interaction.
  • Their interest in technology is because of what it can do rather than what it is. Only 20% said they were "interested in technology".
The teenagers we are teaching are “connected constantly”... except when they come through the school gates. In school we try to ban the digital world our pupils inhabit. As I reported earlier, Digital world? It's more like Forbidden Planet!


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6 comments:

Rebeca said...

I was in that lecture :-) And confess not knowing how to send a photo with my mobile phone oops!

The other day I came across another survey carried out by the Sleep Council that suggests that "Teenagers are getting just four hours of sleep a day because they are so hooked to playing videogames or watching TV. This is causing one in three students to turn up exhausted at secondary school the next day". No wonder they have problems to concentrate if they sleep so little...

David said...

I heard of a headteacher (in England I think) who went to pupils homes and removed the TVs from the pupils rooms (with parental permission of course). His concern was exactly the same as yours - how can they concentrate in schools if they have been awake half the night? It seemed to be successful but I must admit that I wondered why the parents didn't do something?

Alan Y said...

I'm a parent and both my kids have TVs in their room, I guess sometimes it would be easier to say "No you can't watch a DVD / Football game etc etc" just for an easy life :>) of course I am one of the few "good" parents who always comes down hard and says "NO" :>)
Are we as parents becoming over dependant on schools for discipline? Would we rather the HT came round to remove the TVs than do it ourselves and risk falling out with our kids?

Struan said...

Perhaps the challenge is for us teachers to move into their world. David has caused me to wonder if I could deliver (for example) standard grade chemistry to a bunch of students just using the likes of youtube, bebo, flickr etc.... I wonder if any local authorities have funded staff to be totally virtual. helping students learn only through the medium of "virtual, digital or web2.0"?

Sunny said...

I think we all feel that we fight a loosing battle when we try to compete with what kids can do and learn on their own at their homes, in their cars, on trains, etc. We continuously try to get kids to conform to the way school has been done instead of the adults trying to change the way we do things in order to meet the needs of our students. I believe that we must begin utilizing the tools they use as a part of their daily lives in our classrooms--it just isn't an option any more.

David said...

Hi Allan

If I remember correctly, the parents were pleased the HT came to remove the TVs because they didn't feel they had enough authority to remove there children's TVs! Sheesh! (I can't remember where I read it originally, but here's a report from the Telegraph.)

Hello Struan

I don't know if I'd want to go totally virtual. Horses for courses and all that... but it would be interesting to really bump it up and see what happens.

Hello Sunny

I think you're right - we shouldn't be trying to compete with our pupils but we need to acknowledge the world they live in instead of trying to stop it at the school gate and pretend it doesn't exist.