Screenagers Provide Internet Content

Link to: The Lives of Teenagers Now: Open Blogs, Not Locked Diaries – New York Times

Add “screenager” to the lexicon of terms to describe the current generation of K-12 students who are finding new ways to use the internet to express themselves as “content providers”.

Using the cheap digital tools that now help chronicle the comings and goings of everyday life – cellphone cameras, iPods, laptops and user-friendly Web editing software – teenagers like Melissa are pushing content onto the Internet as naturally as they view it.

The article, which appears in the business section of the New York Times, was triggered by the release of another report by by the Pew Internet and American Life Project which notes:

Teen bloggers, led by older girls, are a major part of this tech-savvy cohort. Teen bloggers are more fervent internet users than non-bloggers and have more experience with almost every online activity in the survey.

Much of the article focuses on the potential impact of the attitudes of these kids towards downloading and consuming music. (Most agree that it is easy to grab music off the internet. About half said that downloading copywrited material was wrong; an equal number didn’t care about copyright.) The article (and the Pew Report) confirm that that many members of this generation are taking a much more active relationship with their media environment.

The Pew survey shows “the mounting evidence that teens are not passive consumers of media content,” said Paulette M. Rothbauer, an assistant professor of information sciences at the University of Toronto. “They take content from media providers and transform it, reinterpret it, republish it, take ownership of it in ways that at least hold the potential for subverting it.”

“Subverting” it? Now where have I heard that word before?

3 thoughts on “Screenagers Provide Internet Content”

  1. (easier to get the info there than at my library catalog, and it’s richer info–but I digress) tells me that book was published 34 years ago. Looks like it takes more than a generational change to overcome the astonishing inertia of the educational establishment.

    I’m all for tradition in education, but not the tradition of stultifyingly industrial design because we can’t think of a better way to scale the resource or experience.

    I see Amazon recommends the sequel, “The End of Education,” which is not quite ten years old. Postman’s obviously clinging to hope somehow.

  2. This article synthesizes several sub-topics together for me: copyright, plagiarism, citing sources, blogging, and safety in the K-12 setting. As I read the NYT article the following struck me from a 15 year old student:

    “The more kids are involved with digital content creation, the more thinkers will emerge that will eventually produce tomorrow’s innovative products.” Brandon

    The NYT article mentions that students can easily download music and while those that participated in the Pew survey said it was wrong, students cited that it was unrealistic for teenagers not to do it because it was so easy to do; translated, it is easy to break the law.

    Just last night, I was watching TV, a rarity for me. To me surprise, there was an ad warning about sexual predators on the Internet. As I was watching this, I wondered how blogging will influence this awful tragedy and wonder if students who have blogs have been taught how to safeguard their blogs with word verification which I just recently learned how to do with my professor. I also wonder how many of these student bloggers protect their identities. The chilling thought that I had was that Melissa in the NYT article was learning everything on her own – I kept wondering was she going to miss something.

    K-12 educators will have to take a very active role in the media literacy curriculum so that the Melissas and Brandons know what is legally permissible and how to give credit in their Internet creations as well as protect themselves to threats. Brandon has stated that the technology will create a better thinker because of the number of new products that will be created; however, I wonder, if those innovative products will just be tools that manipulate the youth without them knowing it.

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