Thursday, August 4, 2005

Teens and Technology

There is a study done by the PEW Internet & American Life Project on teenagers' changing behavior on the use of ICT's. For the press release on the study, get it here.

Since I got this news from LM_NET, a listserv that I subscribe to, allow me to share some relevant findings that Dr. Anthony Bernier of the School of Library and Information Science in San Jose University pointed out. These are of interest to school librarians, teachers, parents and adults working with teenagers.

* In 2000, PEW found out that of all young adult log-ons 36% were made in libraries with Internet access. Five years after, it has increased to 54%.

* Instant Messaging has become their digital communications backbone.

* As they use these gadgets, they exhibit sophisticated and strategic skills in incorporating new communication tools in their daily routines.

* Parents have placed computers in family areas where teenagers can be with the other members of the family. No filtering software can outperform social sanctions set by adults.

* While IMs are at the top of their new tools list, they still prefer to talk with their friends over a landline phone.

Dr. Bernier ends his summary of the PEW Study with an advice that librarians must not cease to provide "developmentally appropriate spaces of their own" in their school libraries because social interaction are as important to them as using these ubiquitous new tools.

Now I wonder how Pinoy teenagers' choices, behaviors and social dynamics are affected with these gizmos and gadgets. Of course, we can always observe and draw out conclusions from our interaction with them, but how can we tell if it is scientific? This makes for an interesting research. If you know of any study that profiles teenagers' use of technology today, tag me or leave a comment. School librarians can take a lot of stuff from such studies to improve the readers' services of their libraries.

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