Information Technologies for Adolescents

Information Technologies for Adolescents

Lesley Farmer (California State University – Long Beach, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6046-5.ch016
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Abstract

Adolescents live in a technology-enhanced world. However, significant subpopulations lack physical and intellectual access to digital technologies. Content and communications providers format and disseminate information in a variety of ways. In response, teens who use technology tend to employ a variety of platforms, choosing the tool to match the content and purpose. Social media has been the technology of choice for teenagers, leveraging their social and creative needs. Educators of teens need to incorporate technology into their practices, providing access and opportunities for teens to optimize their technology use. Today's adolescents, ages 12 to 18, are often characterized as digital natives because many of them have grown up in a digital world. Most of them have some kind of access to technology, although the digital divide still exists. The technologies teens access and use are described in this chapter.
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Teen Access To Technologies

Technology is a way of life for most of today’s adolescents. They usually have access to technology at school, and most have access at home or within the neighborhood. At this point, the group who has the least access to technology, particularly Internet connectivity, is the rural population because of geographically constrained cable connections. The 2012 Federal Communications Commission reported that almost a quarter of rural populations do not have broadband Internet access. Nevertheless, satellite telecommunications and governmental initiatives are making technology access more feasible. The following statistics give a clearer picture of teen access and use of technology (Lenhart, 2012; Madden et al., 2013).

  • 95% of teens use the Internet.

  • 93% of teens have a computer or access to one at home.

  • Almost three-quarters of teens access the Internet via mobile devices.

  • Over a third of teens have smart phones, and a quarter primarily access the Internet via smart phone especially those with low income or low education.

  • Over a third use video chats.

  • Over a quarter record and upload videos to the Internet.

  • 94% of teens use Facebook.

  • About a quarter of online teen users use Twitter, and the number of teens is rising rapidly.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Metacognition: Monitoring and control of thinking processes.

Smart Phone: A cell phone that has many of the functionalities of a computer.

Egames: Electronic games.

Information Behaviors: Ways that people seek and use information.

Teenagers: Individuals between 12 and 18 years old; adolescents.

Telecommunications: Systems that transmit messages over a distance electronically (e.g., telephone, Internet).

Social media: Interactive Web-based tools such as blogs, wikis and social networking Websites; Web 2.0.

Mobile Device: A portable technological piece of equipment, usually with a computer chip or processing unit (e.g., handheld device, laptop, smart phone).

Information Poor: People with little physical or intellectual access to information, mass media, television, movies, radio, newspapers, and other periodicals.

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