Friday, October 20, 2006
A recent post on David Warlick's 2 Cents Worth blog pointed me in the direction of a recorded interview with a bunch of American teenagers about their Internet habits, which took place at the 2005 web 2.0 conference. I found it particularly interesting, as I realised that my own Internet habits were pretty similar to the teenagers. Here are some of the main points that struck me:
- teenagers spend a great deal of time on MySpace or similar social networks. I visit MySpace once daily, although don't spend as long on there as they do - but I'm using alternative spaces for similar activities.
- they are really into IM, via whatever interface is used by most of their friends. I only recently managed to get off IM (mainly to save myself time, as I often got into distracting conversations in the middle of the day), although in a previous job I used IM extensively to chat with web developers
- they don't want to pay for things, and use P2P networks on a regular basis. Me too!
My conclusion is that we need to look more into the following areas in education:
- Internet safety for teens: how to protect them through education and media literacy
- IM for education: there are obvious applications in language teaching (linking up pairs of students across borders to chat in second languages) but how else could it be used?
- P2P educational resources: in education, we often say that we want teachers to share resources, but still put up barriers to students doing this. Shouldn't we allow students to share/learn from each other in this way too?