1/25/2010

People and Devices: Online 24/7

Every single day, 350+ million users access Facebook, a slightly less number of users communicate by 140-character messages via Twitter, and others exchange info, feelings and messages via hi5, MySpace, MSN Messenger, etc.

It is easy to understand the explosion in Social Media in the last few years, Communication is innate and inherent to humans, and language is its highest expression, and humans have perfected it.

I started on Twitter last year, and ever since I’ve tweeted over a thousand times, and for sure I’ve read over 100,000 tweets already. Growing in Social Media is as exponential as bacterial growth, unstoppable.

Demographics depend on the type of Social Media you are inquiring about, but in general terms most internet users have experienced it in one way or another.

However, one thing is certain, kids love social media, and they are the fastest growing demographic group showing presence in these websites. So, how does that translate into something to be used in education?

Well, it is necessary to be able to get into Social Media as well, as teachers and administrators, we must be facilitators (unintended rhyme) and not scared away from it, and less of all…forbid it.

Digital Natives are anew generation, and as much as we want to categorize them as ADD or ADHD kids, they are multitaskers. I’m sure there will be a significant change in appreciation in the still valid idea that women are true and efficient multi-taskers, and men aren’t. In the near future, kids and teens will have to be occupying that perception.

How’s the behavior of our kids’ and teens’ right now? We can certainly verify it by watching this video and identifying our son, daughter, niece or nephew:

M(2) Video

The report published by the Kaiser Family Foundation, indicates numbers that are completely true. Usage of media has increased to 10 hours and 29 minutes in 2009, discounting the multi-tasking time (29%) we reach to 7 hours and 38 minutes a day.

Media Use

So, kids are “working” a whole shift in total media (Tv, internet, music, games, etc.) Wouldn’t it be productive for teachers to insert knowledge acquisition and learning enhancement activities in such shift?

What does that indicate? We have to adapt! Adaptation is a human characteristic, and one that we need to use a lot in this case.

How will be the Web of Tomorrow? Simple answers: more portable, smaller, easier to use, ubiquitous, and easier to integrate to any of our daily devices and appliances.

I always go back to Sir Ken Robinson and his TED conference when dealing with questions about Education, and this time is not the exception. Creativity in Education is something we must constantly go back to as a reference point, but also as a stimulus for learners and teachers.




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