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November 20, 2008

MacArthur Study Says Teen Tech A Good Thing

It seems that the embrace of technology by youth to communicate and learn is something positive and not the decline of the world as we know it.  The MacArthur Foundation commissioned a two year study called Living and Learning With New Media:  Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project. The results contradict common perceptions that the Internet is turning young people into socially maladroit loners who will never see the sun or another human being unless via avatar.

Some ideas from the report:  Conceptually, instant and constant communication allows friends to hang out with each other as an extension of offline lives.  Exploring new media opportunities online opens up new avenues of creativity and expression.  (If that sounds like the 60s all over again, maybe it is as delivered through a fiber optic cable.)  The mechanisms of communication and media also teach people, and in some sense, help socialize them.  People can teach each other using these tools.  This is not to suggest the overthrow of the educational system, but tools that extend and change the way the system works.

So, as it stands, a teenager with an iPhone is not necessarily a bad thing.  That's great news.  Now I can go back to being old.

More on this from the New York Times via CNET, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the San Jose Mercury News.  [MG]

November 20, 2008 | Permalink


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I am a 18 year old teenager.

Well, I kind of agree with the findings of the research. Before I had and internet connection I was pretty dumb, but since I got in Law School and started using it I think I became smarter. Now I have one click access to any tool I want, I can access libraries which I could never do before, I have access to all the news and media websites which provide me with greater and batter coverage than the local newspaper.

The internet have also provided me with great communication facility with my friends and relatives. I can commute anything I want on the internet, I can use my freedom of speech and expression in much batter way; which I could never do before the evolution of the net.

Posted by: Sudhanshu Neema | Nov 21, 2008 5:53:21 AM

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