A new Pew Research study of 802 teenagers ages 12-17 and their parents reveals that teenagers are sharing more information on social networking sites than in the past, even as they carefully monitor and manage their profiles. And, while the number of social media sites and ways to share has grown, most teens aren’t concerned with third parties having access to their personal information.
Today’s teens are sharing more personal information on social media sites: 91% share a photo of themselves with their profile (up from 79% in 2006), 92% use their real name on their most-used profile, and 20% include their cell phone number. And while older teens are more likely to share information like photos of themselves, school names and relationship status than younger teens, boys and girls “generally share personal information… at the same rates.” However, cell phone numbers are a key exception – boys are much more likely to share their cell phone numbers (26%) than girls (14%).
Twitter use has grown significantly among teens, rising in popularity from 16% in 2011 to 24% in 2012. African-American teens are more likely to use Twitter than white teens, 39% to 23%, respectively, and Twitter users are much more likely than Facebook users to make their posts public.
“The typical teen Facebook user has 300 friends, while the typical teen Twitter user has 79 followers.” Girls and older teens (ages 14-17) have larger networks on social media, and also have a larger variety of friends, drawing from different groups. Younger teens (ages 12-13) are less likely to friend people they don’t know, kids who attend different schools, or teachers and coaches. Girls are more likely than boys (37% to 23%) to be Facebook friends with teachers and coaches, and African-American teens are “twice as likely as whites” to be Facebook friends with celebrities, professional athletes and musicians (48% to 25%).
One of the most fascinating findings from the study’s focus groups was teens’ “waning enthusiasm for Facebook.” Reasons for the shift include increased adult presence on Facebook, friends’ need Continue reading →
A new Pew Research survey of more than 2,400 middle school and high school teachers released today shows that, while teachers believe technology has helped with their teaching, it’s also brought new challenges — including the possibility of creating a bigger rift between low-income and high-income students.
A few highlights from the report:
While 92% of these teachers say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to access content, resources, and materials for their teaching, 75% say the internet and other digital tools have added new demands to their lives by increasing the range of content and skills about which they must be knowledgeable. And 41% report a “major impact” by requiring more work on their part to be an effective teacher.
73% of AP and NWP teachers say that they and/or their students use their mobile phones in the classroom or to complete assignments, and 45% report they or their students use e-readers and 43% use tablet computers in the classroom or to complete assignments.
Overall, 62% of AP and NWP teachers feel their school does a “good job” supporting teachers’ efforts to bring digital tools into the learning process, and 68% say their school provides formal training in this area. (But that’s the average — there’s a bigger discrepancy when those numbers are broken down between high-income and low-income schools). Still, Continue reading →
Has the Internet changed the way students conduct research? Yes, and not always for the better, reports to a study released last week by the Pew Research Center, “How Teens Do Research in the Digital World.” According to a survey of more than 2,000 middle and high school teachers, “research” for today’s students means “Googling,” and as a result, doing research “has shifted from a relatively slow process of intellectual curiosity and discovery to a fast-paced, short-term exercise aimed at locating just enough information to complete an assignment.”
While teachers in the survey acknowledge the benefits of the web for students—great depth and breadth of information, material presented in engaging multimedia formats, and the opportunity to become self-directed and self-reliant researchers—many of them express concern that easily-distracted students with short attention spans are not developing the skills required to do deep, original research.
From the report: “Some 77% of advanced placement (AP) and National Writing Project (NWP) teachers surveyed say that the internet and digital search tools have had a ‘mostly positive’ impact Continue reading →
In what may come as a pleasant surprise to people who fear the Facebook generation has given up on reading — or, at least, reading anything longer than 140 characters — a new report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project reveals the prominent role of books, libraries and technology in the lives of young readers, ages 16 to 29. Kathryn Zickuhr, the study’s main author, joins NPR’s David Greene to discuss the results.
ON THE READING HABITS OF YOUNG AMERICANS
“We found that about 8 in 10 Americans under the age of 30 have read a book in the past year. And that’s compared to about 7 in 10 adults in general, American adults. So, they’re reading — they’re more likely to read, and they’re also a little more likely to be using their library.”
ON THE USE OF E-BOOKS AMONG YOUNG READERS
“We heard from e-book readers in general [that] they don’t want e-books to replace print books. They see them as part of the same general ecosystem; e-books supplement their general reading habits. And we heard from a lot of younger e-book readers about how e-books just fit into their lives — how they can read when they’re waiting in line for class, or waiting in line for lunch. One reader in particular told us that when he has a book that he loves, he wants to be able to access it in any format. So with the Harry Potter series and the [Song of Ice and Fire] series, he’s actually bought all of those books as print books and as e-books, just because they matter that much to him …
“We haven’t seen for younger readers that e-books are massively replacing print books. That might happen in the future, but right now we’re just seeing them sort of as a more convenient Continue reading →
Looking into the proverbial crystal ball, a slew of technology experts weighed in on the Future of the Internet V survey conducted by Pew Research and Elon University, and came up with a predictably mixed scenario: It’s complicated.
Asked to consider the future of the Internet-connected world between now and 2020 and to choose from two statements, of the total 1,021 responses, 55% agreed with this optimistic view:
“In 2020 the brains of multitasking teens and young adults are “wired” differently from those over age 35 and overall it yields helpful results. They do not suffer notable cognitive shortcomings as they multitask and cycle quickly through personal- and work-related tasks. Rather, they are learning more and they are more adept at finding answers to deep questions, in part because they can search effectively and access collective intelligence via the Internet. In sum, the changes in learning behavior and cognition among the young generally produce positive outcomes.”
But 42% were less enthusiastic about the impact of wired life:
“In 2020, the brains of multitasking teens and young adults are “wired” differently from those over age 35 and overall it yields baleful results. They do not retain information; they spend most of their energy sharing short social messages, being entertained, and being distracted away from deep engagement with people and knowledge. They lack deep-thinking Continue reading →