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13 Things to Know About Teens and Technology


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At the 29th Annual ACT Enrollment Planners Conference, Director Lee Rainie will highlight 13 things everyone should know about how today's teens use technology. With data from the Pew Research Internet Project's national surveys of teens and parents, Lee will highlight some critical ways digital tools are changing not only how teens communicate, but also how they gather information about the world and present themselves to others.

Published in: Technology, Education
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13 Things to Know About Teens and Technology

  1. 13  Things  to  Know  About  Teens  and   Technology   Lee  Rainie,  Director,  Pew  Internet  Project   July  23,  2014   ACT  –  College  Enrollment  Planners     Chicago   Email:   TwiHer:  @Lrainie        
  2. Dispelling  myths  
  3. 1)  No  playbook  for  new  environment  
  4. 2)  No  sure  cure  for  making  contact    
  5. Stupid   NarcissisQc   Privacy  indifferent   MaterialisQc     AnQ-­‐social   Mean   Especially  savvy  ‘digital  naQves’   3)  Teens  are  not  an  alien  species   Teens  are  more  _____    
  6. What  is  different  about  them  does  Qe   to  technology  
  7. 4)  Teens  have  tech-­‐saturated  lives   •  95%  use  internet    /  ~  three-­‐quarters  have  broadband  at  home   74%  access  internet  on  mobile  device  –  25%  “cell  mostly”   internet  users   •  78%  have  cell  phones  /  47%  have  smartphones   –  80%  have  desktop/laptop   –  23%  have  tablet  computers   •  81%  use  social  networking  sites     –  76%  use  Facebook  -­‐  24%  use  TwiHer   –  Approx.  from  young  adult  data:  a  quarter  of  teens  use   Instagram;  1  in  7  use  Pinterest;  1  in  10  use  Tumblr  
  8. 5)  This  has  networked  informaQon   •  Pervasive  /  portable  /   persistent   •  Personal  via  new  filters   •  ParQcipatory  /  spreadable   •  Linked   •  Replicable  and  editable   •  Immediate   •  Timeless  /  searchable   •  Given  meaning  via  networks  /   algorithms    
  9. ImplicaQons  for  learners   and  informaQon  seekers  
  10. 6)    InformaQon  is  a  ‘third  skin’  
  11. 7)  Teens  have  a  new  aHenQon  layer  –   “conQnuous,  parQal”  
  12. 8)  Teens  have  a  fiih  lobe  
  13. 9)  Teens  parQcipate  in  the  ‘fiih  estate’  
  14. 10)  There  is  a  Yin  and  Yang  story  when  it   comes  to  the  way  this  affects  teens’  research  
  15. Online  survey  of  2,462  Advanced  Placement  and   WriQng  Teachers   77%  of  teachers   surveyed  say  the   internet  and   digital  search   tools  have  had  a   “mostly  posiQve”   impact  on  their   students’   research  work   87%  agree   these   technologies   are  creaQng  an   “easily   distracted   generaQon  with   short  aHenQon   spans”    
  16. 76%  of  the   teachers  in  this   study  strongly   agree  “the   internet  enables   students  to   access  a  wider   range  of   resources  than   would  otherwise   be  available”   76%  strongly   agree  that   internet  “search   engines  have   condiQoned   students  to   expect  to  be   able  to  find   informaQon   quickly  and   easily”  
  17. 65%  agree  to   some  extent   that  “the   internet  makes   today’s  students   more  self-­‐ sufficient   researchers”   83%  agree  that   the  “amount  of   informaQon   available  online   today  is   overwhelming   to  most   students”  
  18. 90%  agree  that   “the  internet   encourages   learning  by   connecQng   students  to   resources   about  topics  of   interest  to   them”   71%  agree  that   today’s  digital   technologies   “discourage   students  from   using  a  wide   range  of  sources   when   conducQng   research”  
  19. Grading  students’  research  skills   7%   6%   11%   12%   19%   20%   20%   15%   26%   26%   29%   36%   38%   35%   37%   39%   26%   29%   33%   43%   24%   20%   21%   9%   0%   50%   100%   Ability  to  recognize  bias  in   online  content   PaQence  and  determinaQon  in   looking  for  informaQon  that  is   hard  to  find   Ability  to  assess  the  quality  and   accuracy  of  informaQon  they   find  online   Ability  to  use  mulQple  sources   to  effecQvely  support  an   argument   Understanding  how  online   search  results  are  generated   Ability  to  use  appropriate  and   effecQve  search  terms  and   queries   Excellent   Very  good   Good   Fair   Poor  
  20. What  is  the  future  of  learning?   -­‐-­‐  Shana  Ratner  (1997)  “Emerging  Issues  in  Learning  Communi1es”   New:     Learning  as  a  process   Knowledge  is   objecQve  and   certain   Old:     Learning  as  transacQon   Knowledge  is   subjecQve  and   provisional  
  21. New:     Learning  as  a  process   Learners  receive   knowledge   Old:     Learning  as  transacQon   Learners  create   knowledge   What  is  the  future  of  learning?   -­‐-­‐  Shana  Ratner  (1997)  “Emerging  Issues  in  Learning  Communi1es”  
  22. New:     Learning  as  a  process   Knowledge  is  organized   in  stable,  hierarchical   structures  that  can   be  treated   independently  of  one   another   Old:     Learning  as  transacQon   Knowledge  is  organized   “ecologically”-­‐ disciplines  are   integraQve  and   interacQve   What  is  the  future  of  learning?   -­‐-­‐  Shana  Ratner  (1997)  “Emerging  Issues  in  Learning  Communi1es”  
  23. New:     Learning  as  a  process   We  learn  best   passively,  by   listening  and   watching   Old:     Learning  as  transacQon   We  learn  best   acQvely  doing   and  managing   our  own  learning   What  is  the  future  of  learning?   -­‐-­‐  Shana  Ratner  (1997)  “Emerging  Issues  in  Learning  Communi1es”  
  24. New:     Learning  as  a  process   Our  “intelligence”   is  based  on  our   individual   abiliQes   Old:     Learning  as  transacQon   Our  “intelligence”   is  based  on  our   networks   What  is  the  future  of  learning?   -­‐-­‐  Shana  Ratner  (1997)  “Emerging  Issues  in  Learning  Communi1es”  
  25. How  will  hyperconnected  Millennials  live?   hHp://­‐lives.aspx    
  26. Vote  for  …    
  27. Millennials’  future   •  In  2020  the  brains  of  mulQtasking  teens  and  young  adults   are  "wired"  differently  from  those  over  age  35  and  overall   it  yields  helpful  results.  They  do  not  suffer  notable   cogniQve  shortcomings  as  they  mulQtask  and  cycle  quickly   through  personal-­‐  and  work-­‐related  tasks.  Rather,  they  are   learning  more  and  they  are  more  adept  at  finding  answers   to  deep  quesQons,  in  part  because  they  can  search   effecQvely  and  access  collecQve  intelligence  via  the   Internet.  In  sum,  the  changes  in  learning  behavior  and   cogniQon  among  the  young  generally  produce  posiBve   outcomes.  
  28. …  or  …    
  29. Millennials’  future   •  In  2020,  the  brains  of  mulQtasking  teens  and  young  adults   are  "wired"  differently  from  those  over  age  35  and  overall   it  yields  baleful  results.  They  do  not  retain  informaQon;   they  spend  most  of  their  energy  sharing  short  social   messages,  being  entertained,  and  being  distracted  away   from  deep  engagement  with  people  and  knowledge.  They   lack  deep-­‐thinking  capabiliQes;  they  lack  face-­‐to-­‐face  social   skills;  they  depend  in  unhealthy  ways  on  the  Internet  and   mobile  devices  to  funcQon.  In  sum,  the  changes  in  behavior   and  cogniQon  among  the  young  are  generally  negaBve   outcomes.    
  30. Millennials’  future   Change  for  the  beGer   52%   Change  for  the  worse   42%  
  31. 11)  Theme  -­‐  Supertaskers  
  32. 12)  Theme  –  New  winners/losers  
  33. 13)  Theme  –    The  distracted  are  toast  
  34. 6  media  zones  
  35. 1) STACKS
  36. How  it  works   •  MoBve  –  learning,  mastery,  producQvity     •  Content  –  acQonable  info,  how-­‐to   sensibility,  links  and  other  resources   •  Device  –  desktop  /  laptop     •  Engagement  –  full  aHenQon  –  verQcal   reading   •  InfluenBals  –  trusted  brands  and  known   experts  (professional  and  amateur)   •  ~  Mindshare  –  quarter  to  a  third  of  media   Qme  
  37. ImplicaQon  for  message  makers   •  Engagement  strategy   –   Search  opQmized  /  findable   – AcQng  as  informaQon  sherpas   – Problem  solving  mindset   – Cut  and  paste   – FAQs   – How-­‐to  videos   – Feedback  friendly  
  38. 2) SIGNALS
  39. How  it  works   •  MoBve  –  real-­‐Qme  awareness   •  Content  –  headlines,  new  informaQon,  first   impressions  maHer  most   •  Device  –  smartphone,  tablet   •  Engagement  –  glancing    OR  galvanized   •  InfluenBals  –  brands   •  ~  Mindshare  –  <  5%  of  media  Qme    
  40. ImplicaQon  for  message  makers   •  Engagement  strategy   – News,  especially  scoops   – Deals   – LocaQon  enabled   – Insights  from  analyQcs  
  41. 3) SNACKS
  42. How  it  works   •  MoBve  –  killing  Qme,  beaQng  boredom   •  Content  –  gamified,  bite-­‐size  headlines,  link-­‐ dense   •  Device  –  smartphone     •  Engagement  –  distracted,  quick-­‐twitch   •  InfluenBals  –  brands,  quality  of  social  network   •  ~  Mindshare  –  5%-­‐10%  of  media  Qme  
  43. ImplicaQon  for  message  makers   •  Engagement  strategy     – Apps   – Immediate  connecQon   – Predictable  and  compelling  home  screen   – Grabby  copy  /  acQvity   – Clear  and  consistent  Return  on  My  AHenQon  
  44. 4) STREAMS
  45. How  it  works   •  MoBve  –  catching  up  /  checking  in  /  curiosity   •  Content  –  news  (broad  definiQon),  social  updates   •  Device  –  any  /  all   •  Engagement  –  conQnuous  parQal  aHenQon  /   horizontal  scans  /  sharing   •  InfluenBals  –  editors,  social  networks   •  ~  Mindshare  –  quarter  to  a  third  of  media  Qme  
  46. ImplicaQon  for  message  makers   •  Engagement  strategy   – Apps   – Smart  curaQon   – Customizable  filters   – Compelling  ecosystem  of  content   – Tagging  and  saving  for  future  immersion   – Social  network  mediated   – Serendipity  encounters  
  47. 5) SOCIALS
  48. How  it  works   •  MoBve  –  friend  grooming   •  Content  –  social,  personal,  entertaining     •  Device  –  all   •  Engagement  –  parQal,  browsing   •  InfluenBals  –  super-­‐networkers  /  primary  nodes   in  the  network   •  ~  Mindshare  –  10%  of  media  Qme  
  49. ImplicaQon  for  message  makers   •  Engagement  strategy   – Social  networks  are  gatekeepers   – Spreadable  content   – Treat  central  network  nodes  like  tradiQonal  media   influences   – Enable  parQcipaQon  and  feedback    
  51. How  it  works   •  MoBve  –  my  permissions   •  Content  –  personalized,  anQcipatory     •  Device  –  my  surroundings   •  Engagement  –  immersive,  invisible   •  InfluenBals  –  my  past  behavior,  analyQcs,   algorithms   •  ~  Mindshare  –  most  waking  hours  
  52. ImplicaQon  for  message  makers   •  Engagement  strategy   – SelecQve  product  placement  and  messaging   – Permission-­‐based  monitoring  /  interacQons   – Careful  of  privacy  sensiQviQes   – Careful  of  too  much  “moneQzaQon”    
  53. MarkeBng   Myopia     What  business  are  you   really  in?     -­‐-­‐  Theodore  Levi8   Harvard  Business  Review    (1960)  
  54. Be  not   afraid