Content creation by teenagers continues to grow, with 64% of online teenagers ages 12 to 17 engaging in at least one type of content creation, up from 57% of online teens in 2004.
How much longer can the vast majority of educators continue to ignore the fact that a huge number of the youngsters they teach each day are connected and online AND being creative. How many educators can seriously say they have actually created something recently. (I can. I can.)
Girls continue to dominate most elements of content creation. Some 35% of all teen girls blog, compared with 20% of online boys, and 54% of wired girls post photos online compared with 40% of online boys. Boys, however, do dominate one area – posting of video content online – online teen boys are nearly twice as likely as online girls (19% vs. 10%) to have posted a video online somewhere where someone else could see it.
Interesting that girls are dominating the blogging side whilst boys dominate the posting of video online. Could we learn from this fact. Do we need more visual ways of educating to bring more boys on board?
Another thing that comes out from the survey is that teens appear to be inveterate commenters:
89% of those teens who post photos say that people comment on the images at least "some of the time." Teens who post videos report a similarly large incidence of feedback, with nearly three quarters (72%) of video posters receiving comments on their videos.
Now we all know that at times these comments can be insulkting and appropriate but there are times when these comments can be useful critiques and show a level of thought and dare I say it a kind of Peer Assessment.
For me the "killer" info in this survey is this:
For many teens they are now an integral part of the system of communication that they use to conduct the work of their lives. Fully 41% of the teens who use MySpace, Facebook or other social network sites say they send messages to friends via those sites every day.
If just under half of all teens are using social networking sites to communicate educators must get involved in this (r)evolution at some time, otherwise we are going to lose all contact with those we are charged with educating.
Tellingly, even more so than internet stuff, mobile phones are THE preferred method of communication:
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of teens now have a cell phone and for teens who have them, they are the premier communication method for talking with friends.
Why? Well they are relatively cheap, easy to use and many can do most of what kids want them to do (and they don't have to share access with parents????). Although it pains me to say it I think these things are going to overtake computers as the primary net access source, so rather than banning them in schools
we need to educate about appropriate use and harness their power and omnipresence.
What do you think?
All quotes taken from PEW Internet and American Life Project Press Release (19 Dec 2007)