Youngsters understand technology better than adults - true or false?

Typing on a computer keyboardIt’s an old adage, perpetuated by the media, that children and young people understand technology better than adults in their mid 40’s and beyond, but is this correct?

As an ICT teacher, I have, on occasions, had the pleasant experience of a student approaching me and saying that when they have been playing around at home with a software package that we’ve been using in school, they have discovered something really cool. They then demonstrate their new knowledge and, with a mischievous glint in their eye, ask me “did you know you could do that sir?” Now, when I declare that I did not, they respond by saying “but, how come you’re the teacher and now I’m teaching you stuff?”

In it’s recently published annual study of British consumers, the communications watchdog OfCom states that the advent of broadband in or around the start of this new millennium, created a generation of digital natives, the youngest of which are learning to operate digital devices before they are able to talk.

According to OfCom, these youngsters are “…developing fundamentally different communication habits from older generations, even compared to the 16 - 24 year old age group.”

For this research, the watchdog developed a ‘digital quotient’ (DQ) test measuring awareness and self confidence around technology from smartphones to smart watches, awareness and understanding of super-fast broadband, 4G networks and mobile apps.

The watchdog studied 800 children and 2000 adults and in the 6 to 7 year old age group the average DQ score was 98, whilst for those in the 45 - 49 age group the average DQ score was 96. The research demonstrated that digital understanding peaks around the ages of 14 -15, with a DQ score of 113. It then gradually reduces through adult years and drops significantly in old age.

Back to my cheeky student, standing in front of me with a gleeful, self-satisfied grin on their face. I explain that although I’m the teacher, they, as a care-free, youngster, possess far more of a precious commodity than me, which allows them, at will, to meander through the tools and functionality of an app…

Time!

And I believe this is one of the reasons why, apparently, this phenomena occurs. The average young person comes home from school and after (hopefully) completing homework and eating a meal, the evening is pretty much their own to do as they please, so, should they be inclined to play with a web design package or try to write a program in a particular computer language or even just become familiar with an app that all their friends have been using, they have the time to do just that. Adults, on the other hand, have careers, family duties and other commitments that constantly demand their time and therefore have limited opportunity (and also the energy) to raise their awareness and learn what the latest technology can offer them, unless it is necessary for their work.

It is also my opinion that young peoples’ susceptibility to fashions or trends is a contributory factor to this issue.

OfCom’s report stated that whereas 18% of the children used the picture messaging app. ‘Snapchat’ and a further 11% knew a lot about it, almost half of the adults questioned had never heard of it. Could it be that once adults find out about say, a social networking app. and learn how to use it, they do not see the point of learning how to use another app that appears to do the same thing - just with pictures, purely because it happens to be ‘in’?

Indeed, many teachers use Facebook - the original social networking site but, how many have you ever over heard say “D’yer know what, Facebook is just so ‘yesterday’, I’m moving over to Snapchat!”?

What do you think of this issue? Do you believe that just because young people have grown up in the ‘digital age’ they are inherently better equipped to use technology and to immerse it into their lives? Or do you think it’s just that they have the free-time to find out about what tech is cool to use and how to do it? Do you think that there are other reasons? Comment below and let us know your thoughts.

Written by Steve Gresty on August 20, 2014 08:23

Naace Strategic Conference – 27-28 March 2014

Naace ConferenceThe Naace Strategic Conference 2014 takes places in Nottingham on 27-28 March and will see Naace celebrate its 30th anniversary. The conference is open to both Naace members and non-members and is suitable for teachers, school leaders, advisors and consultants working within and across all phases of UK education.

The conference will address how to be outstanding in a world full of technology and the implications of this. Areas such as school improvement and raising standards, meeting technical challenges and e-twinning are hot topics for those involved in technology education. We’ll be addressing these issues, whilst providing plenty of opportunities for you to network with colleagues and discuss the latest developments in educational technology.

The conference will question:

  • Is outstanding teaching possible without good use of technology? What does a school need to put in place to enable all the teachers to be outstanding?

  • Is the 'flipping' of learning something every school should be working on, enabling pupils to extend learning and time in school to be used more productively?

  • Does proper demonstration of progression and achievement require online access to pupils' work and teachers' records?

  • How can schools best capitalise on the communication, collaboration and access to learning opened up by Internet?
  • Every school leader, and every teacher in all subjects, needs to know the answer to these questions. If you want to advance education, this is the conference to advance your understanding of how best to do it.

    Confirmed Keynote speakers for the event include:

    • John Anderson - Managing inspector, ETI, Northern Ireland
    • Jim Fanning - Head of emerging technologies, Education Scotland
    • Lindsay Harvey - Head of Digital Learning, DfES, Welsh Government
    • Janet Hayward - Chair of National Digital Learning Council for Wales
    • Rhian Kavanagh - e-skills
    • Jeff Smith - Director IET Associates and Consultant to Brent Schools Partnership
    • Professor Celia Hoyles OBE & Professor Richard Noss - London Knowledge Lab
    • Kirsten Campbell-Howes - Soda
    • Peter Yeomans - Plymouth University
    • Jan Harrison - Naace
    • Tim Scratcherd - School House Partnership
    • Dr Carol Porter - Children's Service, Bury LA
    • Tim Rylands & Sarah Neild - So into It

    Alongside the Keynote Sessions and Naace Impact Awards presentations, visitors will be able to network at NaaceShare and discover top new products at the exhibition.

    To complement the engaging keynote speakers, there are also some excellent breakout sessions, including:

    • iPads for learning
    • Maximising the Computing Curriculum - one school's approach
    • Leading your school to the 3rd Millennium Learning Award
    • Translating learner voice
    • Quad-blogging
    • e-safety
    • 100 Word challenge - raising writing standards
    • Digital Leaders Academy
    • Effective use of SIMS
    • Making digital tools work for learners
    • and much more!!

    For more details and to book online, please visit www.naace.co.uk/events/conference2014

    Written by E-safety Support on January 14, 2014 15:16


    Join E-safety Support

    • Protect your pupils
    • Support your teachers
    • Deliver outstanding practice

    Recent Stories
    Story Tags
    addiction anti_bullying_alliance anti-radicalisation apps ask.fm assembly avatars awards bett Breck_Foundation bug bullying BYOD calendar cber_bullying censorship ceop checklist child child_exploitation childline childnet child_protection childwise ClassDojo classroom competition cookies CPD creepshot CSE curriculum cyberbullying cyber_bullying cyber_crime cybersmile_foundation cybersurvey development devices DfE digital_citizenship digital_footprint digital_forensics digital_leaders digital_literacy digital_native digital_reputation digital_wellbeing eCadets education e-learning emoticon e-safe esafety e-safety e-safety, e-safety_support #esscomp #esstips ethics exa exploitation extreemism extremism extremism, facebook fantastict fapchat FAPZ film filtering freemium friendly_wifi gaming #GetSafeOnline glossary GoBubble gogadgetfree google governor grooming #GSODay2016 guidance hacker hacking icon information innovation inspection instragram internet internet_matters internet_of_things internet_safety into_film ipad iphone ipod irights IWF language leetspeak lesson like linkedin malware mental_health mobile monitor monitoring naace navigation neknominate netiquette network news NHCAW nomophobia nspcc NWG ofcom offline ofsted omegle online online_safety oracle parents phone Point2Protect policy pornography power_for_good pressure PREVENT primary privacy professional_development protection PSHE #pupilvoiceweek ratting rdi reporting research risk robots safeguarding safer_internet_day safety SCD2015 #SCD2016 school sdfsdf security self-harm selfie sexting sextortion ShareAware sid SID SID2016 SID2017 smartphone snapchat snappening social_media social_media, social_networking staff staff_training #standuptobullying statutory_guidance Stop_CSE stop_cyberbullying_day stress students survey swgfl SWGfL tablet teach teachers technology texting tootoot training TrainingToolz troll trolling twitter UKCCIS uk_safer_internet_centre UK_youth unplug2015 virus webinar website we_protect what_is_e-safety wifi wi-fi windows wizard yik_yak young_people youthworks youtube YPSI
    Archive