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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The plugged-in generation?

I've noted in previous posts how my pupils seem much less plugged-in than the gurus wish they were.  Things may be changing.

A couple of years ago, I asked a class how many of them had seen something on YouTube within the last 24 hours.

Thirty hands.

How many have ever uploaded anything to YouTube?

One hand.

The rest just looked at me. Upload? Wasn't I saying that wrong? I didn't even bother to ask my planned question about YouTube channels. Queries about other media like Wikis got the same reponse - they look, they don't participate. My conclusion was that teenagers may be on the internet, but they are passive there, not active. I've even made this a topic for analysis in sociology class a couple of times.

This year, however, I asked a year 11 class similar questions and got radically different answers. Half the class actually had their own YouTube channel. Other questions about, say, Wikis showed a similar trend. (Well, except blogging which seems to be getting less popular. And teenagers still don't tweet much.)

So - maybe things are changing. I suspect so.

Update: Interestingly enough, after I wrote this, Ann Michaelsen published a piece that is quite in line with my original post, particularly in its conclusion. 

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