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 phoneand 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.
I’ve been keeping Dr. Gwen Schurgin-Okeeffe’s (AKA Dr. Gwenn) book close by for several months now. Cybersafe: Protecting and Empowering Kids in the Digital World of Texting, Gaming, and Social Media is chock-full of helpful information and advice, juxtaposing the need to empower as well as protect today’s children in the always-expanding virtual world where they live. I’ve read the entire book, and I highly recommend CyberSafe to a people who are planning school book fairs and searching for a book that addresses technology and parenting. For parents who are seeking a broad overview of digital age parenting, CyberSafe, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, is the current best bet.
Just when we think we have a handle on a social networking, along comes another virtual gimmick to figure out. In this case Places isa Facebook mobile phone application designed to follow you around using the phone’s GPS, let people know where you are, and significantly reduce your privacy. Keeping a tight lid on anything tweens and younger adolescents do with Places will be a priority for parents this fall. A couple of suggestions…
Make Facebook Places a discussion topic and figure out a good time to talk with your family. Privacy is a concern, so don’t delay. With the start of the school year only a few weeks off, children with mobile smart phones will most likely try to make Places a part of their Facebook activities.
Think about the general Facebook and specific Places guidelines that you want to set for students in your family. Do this now, before Places becomes ingrained in the adolescent culture.