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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds

A national survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that with technology allowing nearly 24-hour media access as children and teens go about their daily lives, the amount of time young people spend with entertainment media has risen dramatically, especially among minority youth. Today, 8-18 year-olds devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes (7:38) to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week). And because they spend so much of that time ‘media multitasking’ (using more than one medium at a time), they actually manage to pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes (10:45) worth of media content into those 7½ hours.

Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds is the third in a series of large-scale, nationally representative surveys by the Foundation about young people’s media use. It includes data from all three waves of the study (1999, 2004, and 2009), and is among the largest and most comprehensive publicly available sources of information about media use among American youth.

The above is taken from a press release from the Kaiser Family Fund Foundation where you will also find links to the complete Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds and other related studies.

Here are some highlights from the full report that I have selected for you to consider:
Cell Phones
Today, two-thirds (66%) of all 8- to 18-year-olds own their own cell phone
Overall, 8- to 18-year-olds report spending an average of 33 minutes talking on a cell phone in a typical day.
On average, 7th–12th graders report spending about an hour and a half (1:35) a day engaged in sending and receiving texts.
iPods/MP3 Players
Of all 8-18 year olds, 76% own an iPod or other MP3 player
Internet Access
Among all 8-18 year olds, 84% have home internet access, 59% having high speed wireless access and 33% with Internet access in their bedroom.
Of all 8 to 18 year olds, 29% own their own laptop.
Print Media
Time spent reading books for pleasure has increased slightly, but time spent with magazines and newspapers, which held fairly steady from 1999 to 2004, has declined substantially since then.
The total amount of time 8- to 18-year-olds spend reading hard copies of books, magazines, and newspapers for pleasure has decreased by about five minutes a day (from an average of 43 minutes daily in 1999 and 2004 to 38 minutes in 2009).
Of 8-18 year olds who are heavy media users, 60% report that they are often bored in school; moderate users 53%; light users 48%
Racial and Ethnic Differences
Black and Hispanic children consume nearly 4½ hours more media daily (13:00 of total media exposure for Hispanics, 12:59 for Blacks, and 8:36 for Whites). Some of the largest differences are in TV viewing: Black children spend nearly 6 hours and Hispanics just under 5½ hours, compared to roughly 3½ hours a day for White youth. The only medium where there is no significant difference between these three groups is print. Differences by race/ethnicity remain even after controlling for other factors such as age, parents’ education, and single vs. two-parent homes.

And the changes in all of these numbers over time are astounding.

So now you know about the kids you will have in your classes. Are you ready? I think you will absolutely have to be a tech literate teacher if you and our schools are to survive. But that's just my initial thought. I will read the full report and tell you more. I think you ought to read the entire report also.

1 comment:

  1. At my school we are behind the curve, but gaining rapidly. My 15 year old fits the trend perfectly, but my eight year old has none but the mp3 player, which she almost never uses.

    As an adult that watches vodcasts before school, listens to podcasts to and from work, and watches hulu and netflix at night I completely understand this generation. (I also would say I am bored much of the time at school, but that is because teaching keyboarding is not very exciting.)

    One of the ways I have tried to simulate a more "normal" environment for my students is to allow them text, audio, and when appropriate video which gives them several choices for how they want to explore the content I present. I also like to allow them to have conversations about what they are doing.

    In keyboarding I usually have music going in the background and allow my students to talk to each other as they work on their skill. I have been rewarded by my students by having almost no discipline issues (in a class that could easily become a problem because the content is not very engaging.