Posted in 21st Century Learning, digital devices, digital devices and gadgets, digital kids, teaching, teens and technology, wireless gadgets

New Pew Report on Teens and Technology 2013

Growing internet use by teens and other age groups, too.
Growing internet use by teens and other age groups, too.

If you are an educator who teaches teenagers or a parent of adolescents, check out this newest research release — Teens and Technology, 2013 —  from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. The survey results come from interviews with 802 adolescents between the age of 12 – 17 and separate interviews with their parents, conducted over the phone in English and Spanish.

If you have any doubts about how fast digital life is changing for young people, this should dispel many of them.

  • 78% of teens now have a cell phone, and almost half (47%) of them own smartphones. That translates into 37% of all teens who have smartphones, up from just 23% in 2011.
  • 23% of teens have a tablet computer, a level comparable to the general adult population.
  • 95% of teens use the internet.
  • 93% of teens have a computer or have access to one at home. Seven in ten (71%) teens with home computer access say the laptop or desktop they use most often is one they share with other family members.
  • 25% say they mostly use their phone online.

Most Interesting Quote

One in four teens are “cell-mostly” internet users, who say they mostly go online using their phone and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer.

Schools must find ways to incorporate phones into the 21 Century learning paradigm.

Posted in 21st Century Learning, American Academy of Pediatrics, digital learning, digital parenting, parents and technology, teaching digital kids, wireless gadgets

8 Tips to Help Parents Raise Stronger 21st Century Learners

As we approach the end of 2012 and the holiday season that will surely introduce new gadgets and devices into many of our households, it’s a good time to reassess family digital expectations.

Learning in the 21st Century requires that children competently use digital resources much of the time. To do this each student needs plenty of experience making choices, understanding limits, and mastering the art of filtering out what is immaterial at any given point. Children who get this guidance at home and at school are the most prepared to become effective learners.

These eight tips aim to help parents of digital kids to get started. If you teach, consider sharing them with your students’ parents.

1. Place computers and tablet devices in central, well-traveled locations — away from bedrooms and private spaces.

2. Make adults, not children, the administrators on all computers, including laptops until you are certain of each child’s decision-making. Know what is installed on your child’s mobile devices.

3. Print and post rules and expectations. Specify the times when you do not want your children using computers. Emphasize that your family rules are in effect when your child goes to a friend’s house.

4. Help your children to come up with a strategy that helps them to distance themselves whenever and wherever inappropriate digital activities occur.

5. If your children have mobile phones, have you discussed appropriate use, texting, and limits on a phone’s digital camera? Download a PDF of my cell phone contract.  Check out my contracts and agreement page.                     Continue reading “8 Tips to Help Parents Raise Stronger 21st Century Learners”

Posted in digital parenting, kids changing lives, parent education, parents and technology, wireless gadgets

Comparing Tech Skills: Pre-Schoolers vs. Adults

I recently discovered an interesting comment on a Linked In discussion, part of the ed-tech topics that I often follow.

The conversation asked the question, “Are tablets and iPads the new textbooks?” and the discussion was about an Educause article, E-Books in Higher Education: Are We There Yet? Educause is a non-profit sector organization that aims to help individuals “who lead, manage, and use information technology to shape strategic IT decisions at every level within higher education.”

In the Linked In conversation, Randy Tanner (Linked In profile) described the research of a colleague who is a doctoral candidate at Capella University whose dissertation research investigates the influence of iPads, tablets, and smart phones on pre-schoolers. According to Tanner:

One amazing fact she shared is that the typical 4-year-old is technically more competent with tablets and smart phones than the average adult. Think of the impact to primary school methodology. This isn’t the tech-savvy Millennial Y-generation; this the post-Millennial Z-Gen who may never touch a desktop PC and categorize laptops with 8-track players.

Continue reading “Comparing Tech Skills: Pre-Schoolers vs. Adults”