Saturday, January 23, 2010

Teen Use of Mobile and Media Technology - Study

A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that media dominates the lives of 8 to 18 year-olds...literally, the study estimates "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)". Basically, when they're awake and not in school, kids are using a mobile / smart phone, computer, television or other electronic device practically all of the time...and some members of the teaching community still question the long-term impact of social and digital media / technology on teaching?!

The study consists of a survey of 2,002 students (third to twelfth graders), covering the ages eight to eighteen. The study also had seven hundred of the survey respondents fill-out a "media-use diary" for seven days. And that's where the study identified the media-usage average time of 7 hours and 38 minutes. But here's the amazing part of the "media usage" stat, because many of these respondents often multi-task by using more than one type of technology at a time (e.g. texting while watching TV), the study found they actually manage to pack 10 hours and 45 minutes worth of media content into the 7 and a half hours - stunning.

This study is a follow-up to a 2005 study, and the researchers found that the average teen has increased their media use by nearly two-and-a-quarter hours since the previous study.

The study does connect the data back to their activities and performance as students, with some surprising and not-so-surprising finds - e.g. "Youth who spend more time with media report lower grades and lower levels of personal contentment".

Packed with worthwhile data on the kids we're all teaching, it's definitely worth a look.