“ The green paper Youth Matters made clear that taking part in sports, constructive activities in clubs, groups or classes and volunteering during the teenage years has a positive impact on outcomes in later life… Research into participation in positive activities clearly indicates that a lack of information on activities and facilities is a key reason behind non-participation amongst young people.” - Guidance on publicising positive activities (2006)
From the Ofcom submission to the Byron Review (2008):
99% of children aged 8-17 say that they use the internet, and 80% of households with children aged 5-17 have internet access at home.
Average hours of use of the internet have increased greatly over the past two years (from 7.1 hours/week in 2005 to 13.8 hours/week in 2007 for 12-15 year-olds).
16% of children have a computer with internet access in their bedroom (this rises from 1% of 5-7 year olds, to 12% of 8-11 year olds and 24% of 12-17 year olds).
Almost two-thirds of the parents and children interviewed in this research agreed that children who do not have/use the internet are at a disadvantage.
Image credit: hypertypos http://www.flickr.com/photos/hypertypos/2640182914/ “ Whilst ICT use is certainly not a pre-requisite to surviving in 21st century society…, it is almost certainly an integral element of thriving in 21st century society.” Futurelab: Beyond the Digital Divide Rethinking digital inclusion for the 21st century (2007)
Facets of successful engagement Social Media Participation Usability
What is the social web? Image credit: BotheredByBees http://www.flickr.com/photos/botheredbybees/2038681198/
The Internet is a social medium; information is shared peer-to-peer
To be found, information must be mobile
Narrowcast / long tail
Decentralised / data centric
Participatory / crowdsourcing
The Internet is a broadcast medium; a library to be mined for information
Search is king, take-up is hard driven by direct marketing
Ignore adult usability guidelines, young people are different
Inclusion is more than disability, think about literacy, tribes and socioeconomic status
Consider access restrictions; many social media sites are blocked in schools and libraries
Huge choice from the long tail of niche interests leads to ‘snacking’ behaviour and incentivises short-form content
Deliver accessibility through graceful degradation or progressive enhancement
Image credit: cogdogblog http://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/2779959722/ “ Internet access is not consistent across social and economic groups: 81% of children from AB families access the internet at home, compared to 46% of children from DE families.” Young People and Media Survey – Ofcom 2007