Trend Watch: Allows College Students to Gamble on Their Grades

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Later this month, some college students will meet a new load of professors, study a pile of syllabuses and optimistically think, "I bet I can get a 4.0 GPA this semester."


Well, now they can actually bet on it.

The Web site allows college students to place wagers on their grades. Bets start at $25 -- the student puts up some of the money, the company puts up the rest (more for super high grades, less for easy-to-get grades).

If the student makes the grade, he or she can keep all of the money. Falling a few percentage points short means the company keeps the cash the student put in.

The site was launched by some recent college grads at the University of Pennsylvania and New York University last year, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

This school year it will expand to 36 more campuses, including Howard, American, George Washington and Georgetown universities.


In Google We Trust: Young Adults’ Evaluation of Web Content [Research]

Googlelogo150ReadWriteWeb has an interesting piece about a research study, Trust Online: Young Adults’ Evaluation of Web Content, out of Northwestern University which found that the much lauded "digital natives" aren't so savvy and that they may trust Google a little too much.

Sure those digital kids can surf the web and text, but when it comes to web credibility and media literacy, they are lacking the skills necessary to properly vet digital resources.

As readers of this Barking Robot are aware, this is a topic that I've been talking about for some time.

Here's the RWW with a breakdown of the study:

"In Google we trust." That may very well be the motto of today's young online users, a demographic group often dubbed the "digital natives" due their apparent tech-savvy.

Having been born into a world where personal computers were not a revolution, but merely existed alongside air conditioning, microwaves and other appliances, there has been (a perhaps misguided) perception that the young are more digitally in-tune with the ways of the Web than others.

That may not be true, as it turns out. A new study coming out of Northwestern University, discovered that college students have a decided lack of Web savvy, especially when it comes to search engines and the ability to determine the credibility of search results.

Apparently, the students favor search engine rankings above all other factors. The only thing that matters is that something is the top search result, not that it's legit.

During the study, one of the researchers asked a study participant, "What is this website?" Oh, I don't know. The first thing that came up."

That exchange sums up the overall results from this study: many students trusted in rankings above all else. In fact, a quarter of the students, when assign information-seeking tasks, said they chose a website because - and only because - it was the first search result.

Trust Online: Young Adults' Evaluation of Web Content

Infographic: Professors’ Use of Technology in Teaching

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The Faculty Survey of Student Engagement surveyed approximately 4,600 faculty members at 50 U.S. colleges and universities in the spring of 2009 to see how they are using new media and social technology in their classroom.

Based on these findings, it doesn't seem like too many professors' are integrating technology into their classroom. What do you think? Do these results surprise you?

Thanks to Dale for the heads up!

Related: In Google We Trust: Young Adults' Evaluation of Web Content

Weekly Wrap: Foursquare Nabs MTV & VH1, Linguist Urges Kids to Embrace Twitter, Saving the Google Students, COPPA & Youth Marketing, Free iPad eBooks & More!

Barking.robot.iconSix Reasons to be Skeptical of the 'Digital Natives' Discourse: Almost all of the claims of the net gen discourse are in popular media and if they are based on research, it is proprietary and full methodological details are not provided. All of the sound research that refutes the claims is published in scholarly journals and has been subject to peer review. [Net Gen Skeptic]

Saving the Google Students: For the Google generation, closing school libraries could be disastrous. Not teaching kids how to sift through sources is like sending them into the world without knowing how to read. [LA Times]

Weekly Wrap, Foursquare Edition: Meet Gatsby, Fresh off the heels of hooking up with Bravo TV and Harvard Foursquare signs a similar deal with MTV & VH1, Microsoft adds Foursquare data to Bing Maps & a really cool visualization of Foursquare check-ins at SXSW. [Iconoculture] [Mobile Entertainment News] [Mashable] [TechCrunch] [SimpleGeo]

10 Reasons Students Are Tuning Teachers Out: You’re teaching to a generation of students that can access more information more quickly than any other generation. Don’t tell students that you don’t want to figure out how to use the internet or that you don’t answer email. You’re putting yourself into a category you don’t want to be in. [GYJoe]

US Census Bureau Adds Mapping App to Facebook: In an effort to reach out to young people, the U.S. Census Bureau is launching a huge nationwide campaign incorporating social media, broadcast media and print to encourage people to fill out their census forms this year. [Inside Facebook]

Ypulse Interview| Jamie Tworkowski: Jamie is the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury and suicide. Related: MTV Poll: Generation Stress [Ypulse]

Preparing Your Content for iPad: Platform-specific considerations and UX Guidelines for web content in Safari on iPhone OS devices, with specific information for iPad. Also, iPad to Offer 30,000 free eBooks at launch. [Safari Technical Notes] [Apple Blog] [UX Magazine]

Marketing to Kids | A Time for Playing by the Rules:Whether it’s Quiksilver, Monster Energy Drinks or ESPN X Games, the look and feel of the typical action sports-related website is young, edgy, authentic. Action sports marketers need to be aware, however, of the panoply of laws that regulate marketing to kids, including the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). [GroupY]

Quote O' The Week: “I hate being thought of as a product. I am not a doll, and people want to treat me that way. I’m older now. I have an opinion. I have my own taste.” - Miley Cyrus on why being a Disney pop princess is so difficult. [Gossip Girl] [Barking Robot]

Blogging, academia, and the new public intellectual: John Holbo admits he and his fellow pioneers have lost the “revolutionary fervor” of blogging’s early days. “I’m fortunate to be at the top of the food chain, to have these bully pulpits where I can stand up and know thousands of people will hear me,” he says. “But we all thought blogging was going to transform academic life, and that didn’t really happen. [Cal Alumni Association]

Linguist Urges Kids to Embrace Twitter: Language is forever changing -- and forms such as tweets and text messages are no less valid than any textbook version, says the linguist David Crystal, whose latest book encourages children to engage with the possibilities of their lingua franca. [The Independent]

More People Are Watching TV While Surfing the Web: This is some decent news for the TV industry, since the fear is that Internet time is eating into boob tube viewing. Overall, TV viewing is up 1%, year over year, according to the report.  [Business Insider]

Why Apple’s iPad Can’t Succeed in Schools (Yet): You see, tablets-as-books is a great idea until the battery dies, and then the student has no textbook and no computer. She will have to plug-in to a power outlet if she wants either of those things back. Related: A Kindle in Every Backpack [The Apple Blog] [Barking Robot]

DML 2010: Four Things Youth Marketers Can Learn About Youth & Digital Media

Logo_events Today I've published a guest post over on Ypulse and shared some of my thoughts on the 2010 Digital Media & Learning Conference (DML) which was held last week at the University of California at San Diego.

The post, Four Insights for Youth Marketers from DML 2010, highlights some of the key things I think marketers can learn from the academic community when working with youth and digital media. The post also highlights some of the most current youth media research going on around the world.

Thanks to Meredith and the rest of Team Ypulse for the opportunity to share my insights from DML with the rest of the Ypulse youth marketing community.

Pew Research: The Millennials | Confident. Connected. Open to Change.

This is part of a Pew Research Center series of reports exploring the behaviors, values and opinions of the teens and twenty-somethings that make up the Millennial Generation.

Pew Research: The Millennials | Confident. Connected. Open to Change.

Generations, like people, have personalities, and Millennials – the teens and twenty-somethings currently making the passage into adulthood – have begun to forge theirs: confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and receptive to new ideas and ways of living.

Learn more about the findings and take the 'How Millennial Are You?' quiz.

Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with Digital Media

Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out was written as a collaborative effort by members of the Digital Youth Project, a three-year research effort funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Southern California.

Conventional wisdom about young people’s use of digital technology often equates generational identity with technology identity: today’s teens seem constantly plugged in to video games, social networks sites, and text messaging. Yet there is little actual research that investigates the intricate dynamics of youth’s social and recreational use of digital media.

Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media

Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out fills this gap, reporting on an ambitious three-year ethnographic investigation into how young people are living and learning with new media in varied settings-at home, in after school programs, and in online spaces.

This project was one of many funded by the MacArthur Foundation to explore digital media and learning. New projects in this area are being aggregated through the Digital Media and Learning Hub.

We're Just Not That Into You: Gen Y, Brand Marketing & Social Media

Social.montageArmando Samuels has written a really great guest post over on Next Great Generation titled, "Hey Brands, Get out of My Social Media Grill." I've swiped a few of my favorite quotes from the piece, but I hope you'll take the time to read the whole article. It's really spot on.

Armando raises some really good points in his article, but I think his most important lesson for youth marketers and brands is that there is a fine line between (buzz word alert!) engagement and alienating the very customer you are targeting with your message. Possibly forever!

And now, a few words of wisdom from Armando:

"I’m tired of dealing with brands all over social media, I need a minute of my day when brands are not all up on my shit. Is that possible?"

"The more that you try to be part of my life, the more turned off I get. If I love a brand, I will find you, and I’ll be your biggest fan. So instead of trying to be all up in my shit why don’t you act confident (I’ve heard chicks dig it). Act like you believe in your product and its quality and maybe I’ll give you a chance."

"So how about we make a pact, brands of the world, stop trying to be someone you are not (my friend) and be who you are (a confident brand that believes in your product). I know you are there and if I don’t, I’m sure I’ll see you on TV or every time I open a magazine – just please stay away from my social network."

Good stuff, eh? Now go read the whole thing.....

Weekly Wrap: Gen Y & the 'Obama Effect', Social Web Strategy Matrix, NBC Olympic Strategy, Facebook Privacy for Teens, Rebranding Mickey Mouse, Gen Y Slang, Young Hollywood = $$$ & More!

Barking.robot.iconWhy Brands Are Becoming Media: One of the greatest challenges I encounter today is not the willingness of a brand to engage, but its ability to create.

When blueprinting a social media strategy, enthusiasm and support typically derails when examining the resources and commitment required to produce regular content.

Indeed, we are programing the social web around our brand hub, which requires a consistent flow of engaging and relevant social objects. [Mashable]

Web Strategy Matrix: There’s an incredible amount of media and blogger noise about social networks, yet most focus on “killer app” hype without an objective point of view. My career mission?  To cut out the hype and help companies make sense of what to do. For those fraught with information overload, this definitive matrix distills what matters. [Jeremiah Owyang]

Facebook Privacy Settings for Teens: I would love to have the network's response to these recommendations, so please chime in as an educator, researcher, counselor, doctor, parent...or friend. I am hoping we can get the best recommendation out there for our young teens...and their parents. [Architecture of Ideas]

Hollywood Still Doesn't Understand How to Market to Women: This past weekend, something momentous happened in Hollywood. “Dear John," a chick flick based on a schmaltzy Nicholas Sparks novel and starring two only moderately famous actors, unseated “Avatar,” the most successful movie of all time. Nobody saw it coming. Why not? One simple reason: Hollywood still doesn’t understand how to market to women. [The Wrap]

Probing the 'Obama Effect on Gen Y: According to a study to be released this month by Images USA, 81 percent of the so-called Generation Y feel the gravity of world events is causing them to get involved. But according to Ricki Fairley-Brown, CMO of Images, African-American and Hispanic Gen Yers are more motivated than Caucasians of the same age. [AdWeek] [BrandWeek]

Yet Again, NBC's Olympics Strategy is a Loser: If the reason you are not showing events live online is that you say no one is interested in watching them that way, why are you bothering to police the Web? Prove that no one cares about live events online. [C|NET]

Disney to Rebrand Mickey Mouse: Mickey's popularity in the United States has begun to wane. He's been crowded out of children's hearts by growing competition from Nickelodeon, Pixar and Dreamworks characters and personalities. Executives consider the rebrand of Mickey's personality necessary to remain relevant in the marketplace. [BrandWeek]

Gen Y Makes Vanity Fair's Top 40 Moneymakers List: Los Angeles is the home of American cinema and these days, Gen Y is making the big bucks in this town. Vanity Fair recently compiled a list of Hollywood’s top earners in 2009, including the likes of Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, and Ron Howard. Fifteen percent of Vanity Fair’s list, though, belongs to Generation Y. [Examiner]

Shamelust? GTL? The latest slang from Gen Y: Here's a taste of some new Gen Y vocab that may have otherwise made you go "huh?" upon hearing it. [@ Trend Central]

More Content Shared on Facebook, but User Activity Falling: Facebook's continual system tweaks plus services such as Facebook Connect are really helping transform the company into a content-sharing network rather than a meeting place for college friends. [Fast Company]

Do You Need a Social Media Policy?: Even when a company has a clear social media policy in place that provides more specifications as to what employees aren't allowed to post, there is no guarantee that everyone will represent the company exactly as you want. [INC.]

The Revolution Will Be Mapped: GIS mapping technology is helping underprivileged communities get better services — from education and transportation to health care and law enforcement — by showing exactly what discrimination looks like. [Miller-McCune]

Weekly Wrap: Chegg Battle of the Bands, Oprah's Leno-CoCo PollGate, Social Data Revolution, Mattel Looks to AR, Gen X Stereotypes, Real Time UX, Rowling on Imagination & Failure, Mowtown Content Strategy & More!

Barking.robot.iconChegg Joins College Battle of the Bands: College Battle of the Bands is proud to announce its partnership with textbook rental service! Student bands and musicians can sign up for FREE and promote their music for a chance to play great venues and win amazing gear and cash prizes as part of the national series of events. []

Conan-Leno Mudslinging Continues With Poll Allegations: So how exactly does the source close to NBC figure that Team Coco flooded Oprah’s ballot box? By good old-fashioned ballot box stuffing, thanks to software designed by die hard Coco fans and advertised on one of the many Team Coco Facebook pages. (Really Team Jay? Why would Ms. Winfrey, or Conan for that matter, want to do that?) Related: Conan, Leno & The Tonight Show Debacle [MovieLine] [Barking Robot}

Augmented Reality Gives Lift to Kids Digital Space: Mattel was at the head of the line as the first major consumer products player to incorporate AR into a retail toy product. As the master toy licensee for James Cameron's film Avatar, the California-based toyco teamed up with an AR software solutions house Total Immersion to create a line of action figures. [Kidscreen]

The Social Data Revolution(s): In 2009, more data will be generated by individuals than in the entire history of mankind through 2008. Information overload is more serious than ever. [Harvard Business Review]

Free Reality TV Show Debuts on Your PlayStation 3: Sony Computer Entertainment America is making good on its promise to expand original content offerings on its PlayStation Network distribution service. It will be bringing an original reality television series, The Tester, to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable consoles via the PSN as a free downloadable series starting February 18. [Mashable]

Study Finds Podcasts Reach Unreachable Consumers: Although podcasting has shown to be quite popular in niche markets, many marketers have not jumped into the fray. The results of a recent Edison Research and Association for Downloadable Media (ADM) study could change some marketers minds, however, because apparently consumers being reached by podcasting are unreachable in other formats. [Junta 42]

Tweet O' the Week: "At Chateau Marmont on a gorgeous day. Everyone here looks like they're on the verge of famous." via @TVBlogster

Get Real About Gen X Stereotypes: Much laudatory ink has been spilled on the Baby Boomers...usually by Boomers themselves. As for the Millennials, those born between 1982 and 1998, the quantity of reportage lauding their public-spiritedness has quickly become tiresome. But a new report casts doubt on the widely accepted stereotype of Gen X-ers as inferior to these other groups. [New Geography]

The Case for Content Strategy, Mowtown Style: how do you start humming the content strategy tune to your own team and to your prospective clients? Listen up and heed Aretha Franklin. No, really. [A List Apart]

UX of the Real Time Web: A major thing done by users on the real time web is the posting and recommending of external links. These links will often go to a story, website, picture, or video that could be of interest to people right now. One problem is that there is so much sharing being done on the real time web that it can become difficult to differentiate the legitimate links from the noise. [instantShift]

The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination: J.K. Rowling, author of the best-selling Harry Potter book series, delivers her Commencement Address, “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination,” at the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association. [Harvard Magazine]

Global Youth: What Youth Think | 2010 Youth Trends Report

Partnering with youth marketers, culture and trend experts from around the world, Graham Brown (the force behind mobileYouth) have crowd-sourced an impressive amount of research on global youth trends and shared his findings in a series of three presentations.

What Youth Think: 2010 Youth Trends Report presentations are a must see for youth marketers, media planners, educators, youth pastors and anyone else who works in the youth space.

So sit back, take notes and enjoy. Then let's all meet up at the Carrot Mob!

Millennials: The Gen Y Tsunami is Here


"For marketers, the Millennials represent a multifaceted challenge that defies easy categorization. Beyond their demographic diversity, marketers need to recognize distinct behaviors, preferences, attitudes, and values that set this group apart from the rest.

We need to realize that consumer-driven marketing integration is not a dream but a critical reality. And this starts with understanding who these young adults really are."

--DMW Direct Consumer Insights,"Millennials"

Related: 2010 Ypulse Youth Marketing Mashup

Dan Rosensweig becomes CEO of Textbook Rental Service

Chegg Dan Rosensweig is leaving his job overseeing Activision's Guitar Hero video game franchise to run Chegg. has been trying to shake up the college textbook industry by allowing students to rent the material required for their courses. The hiring was announced Tuesday.

Rosensweig is best known for his four-year stint as Yahoo's chief operating officer, where he worked closely with the Internet company's former CEO, Terry Semel. Rosensweig left Yahoo! after a management reshuffling in 2006.

This isn't Mr. Rosenweig's first foray into the education technology space. While at Yahoo! he was actively involved with my team on the Yahoo! For Teachers project. You can catch Dan's cameo in this promo video for Yahoo! Teachers. Dan is also current member of the DonorsChoose National Advisory Board.

Youth Then and Now: 1969 Versus 2009


Channel One News recently conducted its own survey of 1300 young adults in order to make a comprehensive comparison of two distinct generations -- teens of 1969 and 2009.

Channel One also visited the University of Colorado at Boulder, posing questions to students exactly as CBS News had done on campus in 1969. At that time, the University of Colorado had been chosen for its diverse and nationally representative student body. 

Find out how close, or far the generation gap is between teens from 1969 and today -- then, tell us what you think about the differences we found.

Introduction to Using Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright.

The Commons provides free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof.

This printable guide provides an overview of how to use Creative Commons along with additional information regarding technical implementation on the Web. Introduction to Using Creative Commons

Additional Resources