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Generation IM: Youth Embrace Mobile ICT

One of the interesting results of a recent study by the Irish National Teachers Organization (INTO) was the discovery that students are using their mobile phones for just about everything--except making phone calls.

Only 20% of the 671 students surveyed report using their mobiles to make phone calls, whereas 81% report using their mobile to communicate via text or IM.

The INTO survey seems to dovetail similar results of a 2005 Pew Internet and American Life study on teens and technology. Like their peers in Ireland, American youth preferring using IM or text messages for everyday conversations with friends.

Other key findings from the Irish National Teachers Organization:

  • 96% of 11 & 12 year old students have a mobile phone
  • 60% have a camera on it
  • 72 % say they use it to access the Internet
  • 20% use it to make calls
  • 81% use it to send texts

Looking towards the future, it's becoming increasingly evident that the next frontier of learning will take place in the mobile space. Already teachers are using podcasting as a means to distribute content, provide customized on-demand learning opportunities.

The rapid adoption of wireless, mobile and other hand held computing devices will require educators to begin designing courses for mLearning environments for the wireless, mobile, or other portable web-enabled devices (video iPod, PSP, Palm).

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