Thursday, February 23, 2012

Digital Youth

I was able to learn a lot from Sara Kajder's book "Adolescents and Digital Literacies: Learning Alongside Our Students." In particular, I really liked chapter two of that book because it talked about the 'digital youth era.' I feel like I have really grown up in this era and that is why I was able to identify with this chapter very well. When I was little, computers had just made their appearance so I basically did see the evolution of technology starting at a very young age. All around us we see the effects of this. Kids in third grade with facebooks, every student having a cell phone, in particular smart phones, and almost everyone having access to some sort of computer. The reason I liked this chapter so much was because the statistics were very interesting (as shown below)

-64% of online U.S teens had created some sort of content on the Internet in 2007.
-100% of public schools now have access
-3/4 of teens age 12-17 search online to access information about current events
-45% of online users report that information found online was significant in their decision making
-55% of online teens (12-17) self-reported having a profile within a social networking site
-80% of online teens (12-17) read/engaged within social networking sites, with more than half doing so at least weekly.
-50% of all high schools use communication and social networking tools, girls' use outpaces boys' use by an average of 12 percentage points. 

Other statistics can be found but I found this ones to be very prevalent. Knowing these statistics now, it is imperative as to why teachers' need to be aware and educated about the 'digital youth.' Technology is expanding every day and it is beneficial for our students to be able to use all of the materials that are available for them to use. Therefore it is just as important for teachers' to be able to effectively teach the usage of these materials as well as incorporate them into engaging lesson plans. 

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