The future of digital diversity

Think digital – it’s  a ‘doing’ technology.  Trends from PewInternet Research Centre indicate that teens are digital denizens.

While the research is not Australia, it points the way to the behaviours or our own teens, and signals a need for some major shifts in thinking about learning and teaching contexts.   The interactivity of the web allows students to move very quickly from one application to another – remixing, remaking and montaging ‘content’.  Learning is promoted most effectively when students are making, creating, building, simulating, hypothesizing – all desirable higher-order thinking activities.

So, give these figures some thought!

6 thoughts on “The future of digital diversity

  1. @Chris – I wonder if it is a social-economic thing. The answer might lie in the affordability of desktop/laptop reflected in overall consumer spending on larger goods?

    I have this thing at the moment about trying to understand how much of the tangential learning youth does with technology vs their use in scholarly activities. What I see playing out in first year undergrads are problems in engaging in digital conversation, turn taking, leadership, linguistic and cultural diversity. Many have never put pixels online outside of friend based networks. The result is that staff may dismiss the value, when students lurk and loaf.

    This makes it even more critical that Australian HSC grads learn these skills as Uni class sizes and competition for grades increases.

  2. Pingback: “Some people get scared by children sitting there, reading their own choice of book silently.” « Reading Power

  3. It’s not teens who are the most digital savvy. My daughter is a fourth year tertiary student (and avid video gamer) and through practical experience, has far more understanding of matters digital than most teens. I mention this because many of my daughter’s age group, particularly those who are recent Education or Teaching graduates, may be ideal candidates for training to design innovative digital syllabuses for primary, high school and college application.

    • A very good point about tertiary students, especially those adept at gaming! Ideally they should be in a prime position to assume transparent adoption of technologies for learning and teaching. At the other end of the spectrum, youngsters 4-6 are also outstripping teachers in their uptake of technologies. We’re being squeezed!

  4. Interesting figures, and at first I would have said that they were a reasonable reflection of Australian trends. However, I’m intrigued by the high level of mobile use by African Americans (48%), and can only assume that there is a reason behind that. It’s interesting that they, as a group, should be so significantly ahead of the White Americans in mobile web use, and I’m wondering how that translates to Australian use, given that we don’t have a large African American population here at all. If they are skewing the numbers upwards in the USA, would our figures be more reflective of the White Americans figures. And why would the African American figures be so high I wonder?

    Interesting stats though.

    • An interesting observation Chris. I wonder how figures stack-up against socio-economic factors overall, and what we would find in such an investigation in relation to Australian kids?

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