Technology use by Teenagers

Recently I have been engaged in a discussion about Marc Prensky’s use and categories of “Digital Natives” and “Digital Immigrants”. The discussion was based on a person’s age and the amount of exposure that a person has in their lifetime. A consensus of sorts was reached that a label of Digital Native is not only related to a person’s age, but also the amount of exposure to different types of technology. A person can become a Digital Native if they use technology and continue to keep up to date with new and emerging technologies. Use, however, apparently is much different depending on age. I gave a small survey to a few students asking them about the amount of time they spent using technology, as well as the specific purposes of their technology use. Here are a few responses from 9th graders:

Student One Responses

Student Two Responses

Student Three Responses

Student Four Responses

As you can see, or I should say hear, these teens use their tech skills mainly for entertainment and socialization. I would argue that adults are different, therefore more on the Immigrant side of the scale, in their use. We tend to use tech to solve problems, communicate, and make life easier. Teens tend to use technology to socialize and for entertainment. I think this is where the separation of the two labels come into play…in use, not necessarily in age.

Therefore, I am a Digital Immigrant.

My Reflection to Student Surveys

To conduct this survey, I shared a google document with instructions and questions. The students then called a Google Voice number to record their responses. I downloaded the audio from Google Voice, and then uploaded the mp3 file to ipadio. Pretty slick way to collect recorded responses and then share those responses with an audience.

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~ by Dean Phillips on October 10, 2010.

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