STUDY: 59% of 8-14 Year Olds with Smartphone Use Chat Apps

WhatsappNew research from UK-based digital marketing platform SuperAwesome, which currently houses the largest kids research panel in the region, maps out a compelling crop of comparative digital kids data from 2009 to 2014. 

The survey contains lots of really interesting stats on kids gaming, social networking and mobile habits, but one of the most interesting statistics comes from the data regarding chat apps. Back in 2009, MSN dominated, but now kids have shifted their loyalty to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

So while kids may not be using Facebook, they are using Facebook products (FB Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp) as primary social networking and communication tools. It looks like the great unbundling of Facebook strategy may pay off and keep younger users in the Facebook mobile ecosystem. And mobile ad network. (Shock! Awe!)

The other big take away is the shift from passive consumption of media to an active embrace of maker culture. Kids are creating movies and publishing them on YouTube, creating worlds in MineCraft and embracing LEGO more than ever.

While this data is primarily focused on kids in the UK, I would garner that data from U.S. kids would closely align with the SuperAwesome findings. 

Kids Trends: 2009 vs 2014

Gaming to Re-engage Boys in Learning [VIDEO]

Ted-conferenceIn her talk, Ali Carr-Chellman pinpoints three reasons boys are tuning out of school in droves, and lays out her bold plan to re-engage them: bringing their culture into the classroom, with new rules that let boys be boys, and video games that teach as well as entertain. 


SnapBrand: How To Leverage SnapChat to Market to Millennials [INFOGRAPHIC]

image from the private domain of teens, SnapChat has moved into the mainstream with several large companies using SnapChat to appeal to younger demographic.

Some of the companies currently utilizing SnapChat as a marketing platform, include: Acura,, Juicy Couture, Taco Bell and even Lena Dunhum's hit show Girls has joined Snapchat.

It's not clear at this point what the conversation rate is or if teens will resent that corporate America has co-opted their parent free zone with ads (like all the "old people" that took over Facebook!), but it will be interesting to see how this develops.

image from


Via Marketo Blog

How Social Design Influences Student Retention and Self-Motivation in Online Learning Environments

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I've teamed up again with my writing partner, Dr. Mercedes Fisher, to take a deeper look at how designing for social spaces can help foster a deeper sense of community among students, teachers and the course content.

I'm pleased to announce that our book chapter, How Social Design Influences Student Retention and Self-Motivation in Online Learning Environments, has been published in Social Media and the New Academic Environment.

But beyond the classroom, these best practices can be integrated into any online community, forum discussion or informal online education environment.

As web applications play a vital role in our society, social media has emerged as an important tool in the creation and exchange of user-generated content and social interaction. The benefits of these services have entered in the educational areas to become new means by which scholars communicate, collaborate and teach.
Social Media and the New Academic Environment: Pedagogical Challenges provides relevant theoretical frameworks and the latest research on social media the challenges in the educational context.
This book is essential for professionals aiming to improve their understanding of social media at different levels of education as well as researchers in the fields of e-learning, educational science and information and communication sciences and much more.

Learning: Is There An iPad App For That?

Joan.ganz.cooney.logo A new report by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center takes a look at the mobile media revolution that is changing the lives of adults, and now children of all ages, under way across the globe.

This report focuses on how new forms of digital media are influencing very young children and their families in the United States and how we can deploy smart mobile devices and applications-apps, for short-in particular, to help advance their education.

It does so in three parts: Part One discusses new trends in smart mobile devices, specifically the pass-back effect, which is when an adult passes his or her own device to a child.

Part Two presents the results of three new studies that were undertaken to explore the feasibility and effectiveness of using apps to promote learning among preschool- and early-elementary-aged children. Though designed to complement one another, each study approached mobile learning from a different angle.

Finally, Part Three discusses the implications these findings have for industry, education, and research.

Learning. Is There An App for That?

Download the PDF

Trend Watch: For College Students, Mobile Web Is the Norm

While most children and teens still rely on feature phones, college students have graduated to the world of mobile internet devices—including smartphones, tablets and mobile game consoles.

Ownership of internet-enabled handheld devices increased by more than 11 percentage points between 2009 and spring 2010, with the number of students planning to purchase such a device in the next year holding steady.
As the devices have become more common among undergraduates, they have also begun to play a bigger role in students’ lives.

In 2009, fewer than half of respondents who owned an internet-enabled handheld device said they used it at least weekly, with fewer than a third reporting daily use. By 2010, 42.6% reported using the devices every day and two-thirds did so at least once a week.


Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century

Retro-tv According to a study from the Pew Internet & American Life project (Lenhardt & Madden, 2005), more than one-half of all teens have created media content, and roughly one-third of teens who use the Internet have shared content they produced.

In many cases, these teens are actively involved in what we are calling participatory cultures.

A participatory culture is a culture with relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations, and some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices.

A participatory culture is also one in which members believe their contributions matter, and feel some degree of social connection with one another (at the least they care what other people think about what they have created). Henry Jenkins: Participatory Culture & Media Education

A growing body of scholarship suggests potential benefits of these forms of participatory culture, including opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, a changed attitude toward intellectual property, the diversification of cultural expression, the development of skills valued in the modern workplace, and a more empowered conception of citizenship.

Access to this participatory culture functions as a new form of the hidden curriculum, shaping which youth will succeed and which will be left behind as they enter school and the workplace.

Global Youth: Africa is the Future

This presentation looks at Africa not as a place, but as a brand and calls on African youth to make a change. With 60% of the population under 25, the role of young people in the developing a new Africa is immense.

Thanks to Three Billion for the heads up on this excellent presentation!

Weekly Wrap: Facebook Social Plugins, How to Create Foursquare Events, Apple Shutters Lala, What is Facebook Saying About You, Social Metrics Tools & More!


Facebook’s New Social Plugins: 50,000+ Websites in One Week: Phase one of Facebook’s strategy for world domination: complete. Facebook announced that more than 50,000 websites have integrated Facebook’s new social plugins in just one week. The plugins are a core component of the company’s new Open Graph initiative. [Mashable]

Apple To Shut Down Lala: In a brief message that was just posted on the website, Apple has announced that the service will be shut down on May 31st, 2010. Does this mean we can start raising our hopes for iTunes in the cloud? [TechCrunch] 

What is Facebook Saying About You?: Yee’s tool shows you exactly what data a developer would get when it asks Facebook for info via the API, such as your name, birth date, location, etc. and also any public information such as your “likes”, your photos and so on. [GigaOm]

Summer Music Watch: Jennifer Lopez Does a Cover of Donna Summer's "On The Radio" [Ryan Seacrest]

The Future Of The Web is HTML 5: Did we mention that 2010 would be a big year for HTML5? Apple and Google are pushing it big time, and now so is Microsoft. When Internet Explorer 9 comes out, it will support HTML5 and help make it more common across the Web. [TechCrunch]

Millennials: This generation is diverse, educated and plugged-in: Gio Acosta says that on any given day there are only two hours in which he is not texting, doing something on his cell phone, or on Facebook, or playing games on his laptop or PS3. Acosta is exactly what Kaiser Family Foundation recently found in a study: That to say today's young people are wired is an understatement. It’s an integral part of their daily lives. [] [Barking Robot]

Edelman Digital Social Metrics Tools: Last week Suzanne shared a few tools to help you find new folks to follow on Twitter to kick-off a new focus on tools and resources for online engagement. I wanted to continue this trend by introducing you to a few blog analytics tools! [Edelman Digital]

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Teen Driver Program: NHTSA has developed a multi-tiered strategy to prevent motor vehicle-related deaths and injuries among teen drivers: increasing seat belt use, implementing graduated driver licensing, reducing teens' access to alcohol, and parental responsibility. Related: Get the 'No Phone Zone' Lesson Plan [NSTSA] [Barking Robot]

Guide to Creating Foursquare Events: There are some reasonable and relatively simple ways to incorporate Foursquare and encourage audience participation at your next event. [Tradeshow Insight]

Texting Poetry Inspires Kids: Once considered a disturbance in the classroom, cell phones, texting devices and other wireless technology are being embraced by some of the very same people who used to malign them: teachers. [Record Online]

End Bullying Now: Here's the link to the Josh Shipp & Brooks Gibbs 'End Bullying Now' Teleseminar! [Barking Robot]

2010 Totally Wired Teacher Award: After listening to feedback from our friends in the educator community, we've made some important changes to this year's Totally Wired Teacher Award provided by Dell. Please help us spread the word to any public school teachers you are in contact with. [Ypulse]

Teachers vs. Texting: School Embraces Mobile Phones [Video]

This is a really good report by CNN reporter Deborah Feyerick on how teachers are embracing mobile phones and using them as a learning tool in the classroom.

So many educators spend so much energy fighting against technology and trying to limit its use in the classroom. There is a digital disconnect between how students use technology in the classroom and how they use it out in the real world.

Instead of pushing forward with the "the internet (along with social networking and mobile phones) are bad" mantra that is all too prevalent in American schools, why not focus on the positive benefits of emerging technologies and find ways that they can be integrated into the classroom curriculum?

Related: Joan Ganz Cooney Center Study on Mobile Learning

One iPad Per Child: Seton Hill to Give All Students iPads

Ipad Remember textbooks? Yeah. Forget about textbooks. Students at Seton Hill University are all getting iPads and access to all their textbooks on the iBook store. I’d say it’s one of the biggest changes in pedagogy since the move from the one-room schoolhouse.

Check out Seton Hill’s website. It states, in no uncertain terms, that “Beginning in the fall of 2010, all first year undergraduate students at Seton Hill will receive a 13″ MacBook laptop and an iPad.”

Can you imagine? I remember I was about to go to Clarkson University in New York back in 1993 because they were giving out laptops. But a MacBook and an iPad? That’s like getting a pony and a unicorn.


Related: Announcing The 2010 Totally Wired Teacher Award Sponsored By Dell

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.

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!

Weekly Wrap: Augmented Reality 101, Social Gaming Monetization, Gossip Girl vs. NYU, Facebook Bullies, Media Literacy Resources, DARE the Movie & More!

Explaining the Hype Around Augmented Reality: Tech circles are abuzz about augmented reality and the future of mobile utility and marketing. AR, as it's called, marries real-time video and digital information. On phones, it uses GPS coordinates and the mobile camera to activate additional text, photos or hyperlinks relevant to a location. [Ad Age]

Gossip Girl Makes NYU Look Like a State School: All in all, NYU officially owns Gossip Girl, and the show will now only drive up the rate of bratty midwestern teens lusting after an NYU degree because they think it means glitz and glamour instead of $200,000 of debt. [NYU Local]

How age impacts social-gaming monetization: New data released by Gambit, a micro-transaction platform provider, illustrates the complexity of both customer targeting and analyzing micro-transaction buying patterns. The major takeaway: older players seem like a good target market until you dig in to find out that they don't spend a whole lot. [CNET]

Social Sites & Video Games Can Raise IQ: After two months in the program, a group of "slow-learning" students aged 11-14 in the Durham area "saw 10 point improvements in IQ, literacy, and numeracy tests," and some who were at the bottom of their class at the beginning finished the program near the top, according to The Telegraph. [NetFamilyNews]

A Virtual Revolution is Brewing for Colleges: Undergraduate education is on the verge of a radical reordering. Colleges, like newspapers, will be torn apart by new ways of sharing information enabled by the Internet. The business model that sustained private U.S. colleges cannot survive. [Washington Post]

Tweet O' The Week: "Zombie community leader angrily denies Twitter reports of zombie attacks during the #SydneyDustStorm". via @darrylmason

Americans Serious About Casual Game Play: Solitaire may be as sticky as World of Warcraft. While users of casual electronic games (card games, puzzles, etc.) spend less time per session playing them than those playing non-casual games (role playing games, shooter games, etc.) they are just as likely to return to them months later. Read the Executive Summary. [Nielsen Wire]

Back to school with RIAA-funded copyright curriculum: With a new school year in full swing, Ars takes a look at the RIAA’s newly updated copyright curriculum. Your kids could be learning from it—so what does it say? (This is a total #FAIL) [ArsTechnia]

E-Reader Wars Heating Up: We believe that Apple will be in an excellent position to capture these younger customers due to its overwhelming success in capturing this market with their IPod and other products. Not only is Apple a Generation Y (and to some extent Gen. X) brand of choice, but many of these younger potential e-readers will be disdainful of Amazon’s proprietary, or “closed,” format (thanks Ypulse!). Also related: A Kindle in Every Backpack. [Seeking Alpha] [Barking Robot]

MySpace Beats Facebook with Twitter Sync: MySpace began rolling out new functionality today that allows users to sync their MySpace status updates with a Twitter feed. [HypeBot]

Speed Round: The DARE movie trailer debuts on Access Hollywood, BullyingUK offers tips for teens being bullied on Facebook, stats on mobile phone coupon usage in Japan, there's a new version of the Journalists Guide to to Multimedia Proficiency, media literacy tips for parents from Knowledge Essentials, parents & school leaders who are uneasy about youth and online spaces really need to listen to danah boyd (mp3) and finally....which augmented reality start-ups are most ready for market?

A Kindle in Every Backpack: A Proposal for eTextbooks in American Schools

A concept paper published in July by former members of the Obama-Biden transition team, titled A Kindle in Every Backpack: A Proposal for eTextbooks in American Schools, suggests we consider an innovative plan to spread eTextbooks around the country, rapidly scaling up employment of the technology so that we can learn, adapt, and perfect its use quickly. It describes the case for an eTextbook system in three parts.

In Part One, the report discusses the multiple reasons why eTextbooks like Amazon's Kindle are a much better approach for our nation’s students. The reasons they are superior include the ability to update eBooks relatively cheaply and easily, environmental and health benefits (such as reducing loads on young backs and shoulders), and the enormous opportunity to make texts more exciting and interactive—like the other tools children use today and that compete for their attention.

In Part Two, this paper discusses the economics of this approach. Cost estimates in the education world are notoriously sketchy and often self-serving, but it seems clear that over time an investment in these tools would produce big savings.

Finally, in Part Three, this paper outlines how we could implement such a plan, and why there could be broad-based support for it.

Also of interest is an article in the September/October 2009 issue of Scholastic Administrator Magazine titled, "Will the Kindle Change Education?" The article does a really good job of weighing in on both the pros and cons of using the Kindle in the classroom.

A lot of education folks have focused on using the mobile phone as the primary device to usher in the age of mlearning (mobile learning).

But perhaps we should be paying more attention to e-book devices like the Kindle, Sony Reader, Nook or the (rumoured) Apple tablet as the more viable mlearning option to delivering media rich and digital content to kids at school.

A lot the current research shows that when kids go to school they are disconnected from how they live outside the classroom. Either way, what's important is that we take a look at and try using any resource or tool--including e-books--that gets kids' more engaged and invested in their education.

Related: Amazon's Jeff Bezos Gives Away Kindles To His Alma Mater, Asks For Feedback