Technology and the 12-24s

Interesting research commissioned by C4 on how the 12-24s use technology.

Top-line stats are:

  • They personally own 8 devices (including MP3 player, PC, TV, DVD player, mobile phone, stereo, games console, and digital camera)
  • They frequently conduct over 5 activities whilst watching TV
  • 25% of them agree that “I’d rather stay at home than go on a holiday with no internet or phone access”
  • A quarter of young people interviewed text or IM (instant message) friends they are physically with at the time
  • They have on average 123 friends on their social network spaces
  • And the first thing the majority of them do when they get home is turn on their PC

As the father of a 12 and 16 year old I am not at all surprised. My girls have lots of gadgets (no wonder the UK’s electricity needs continue to grow at 4% a year when I see how many chargers we have around the house); they have lots of spare capacity when watching TV (usually because most [not all] of what they watch isn’t very challenging – try doing 5 things while watching ‘The Wire’ and keep up with the dialogue!); in our family it’s a 50% vote for no holiday without mobile comms; I get calls on the house phone from a daughter who is upstairs phoning me on her mobile :); they are connected in a way that is really stunning and; our wireless network is on from before school in the morning until last thing at night.

The survey suggests two questions for me – ones that I think I know the answer to. Firstly, how does the experience of our young people compare with their counterparts across the world? Secondly, how does their school experience compare with their out of school use of technology?

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1 Comment

  1. HI Laurie,
    I completely recognise the home scenario you paint (though with an online-game-playing-3-yr-old mixed in as well).

    I’m inclined to think our youngsters experience is fairly typicl of developed countries. I’m just back from France and was surprised at just how widespread Wifi coverage is in public… This surely has to be a factor in encouraging online use…

    But, I cannot believe that report after report after curriculum after curriculum is coming out saying that ICT is so important and fundamental and needs to be fully integrated into learning for the future, and yet pupils’ experience of ICT in school is but a pale shadow of their media-rich connected lives after 3 o’clock.

    I wish someone with suitable influence somewhere, would come out and start championing the need to allow schools to use the internet as effectively and as imaginatively as they need to in order to stay even vaguely relevant in the eyes of the pupils…