“If we over-estimate their skills we underestimate the support they need and misunderstand their practices.” – Dr. Sonia Livingstone
Over the last decade there has been lots of talk, in both the press and educational circles, about the technological prowess of "digital natives." We've heard a lot about what's exciting in educational technology, but the reality is that teachers still see a lot of kids struggling to use technology.Sonia Livingstone 2010 Digital Media and Learning Conference Keynote
During her keynote at DML 2010, Dr. Sonia Livingstone (London School of Economics) shared the following examples from her research and interviews with both parents and kids on the difficulties "digital natives" face using technology:
- Example: Going to a Web site–can take a half hour, involve parents & most give up.
- Example: Parents thought their child was very savvy, but something about the style of her use didn't reveal her struggles. "Megan" is confident, but one can observe her many struggles while she uses technology.
- Example: 17-year-old, quoted: "With books it's a lot easier to research. I can't really use the internet for studying." Another, "Every time I try to look for something, I can never find it. It keeps coming up with things that are completely irrelevant."
- Example: Teens often didn't know how to change their privacy settings, unsure about what to click to manage this task. (Nervousness about unintended consequences: stranger danger, parental anxiety, viruses, crashed computers, unwanted advertising, etc.)
When it comes to youth and digital media we tend to be conservative in the type of content we give young people and far more aggressive when approaching them with digital media tools.
It’s important to remember that just because we include digital media doesn’t mean youth know how to make meaning or engage with these technologies.