Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Teenagers create, re-mix and share online

A Pew Internet & American Life Project, "Teen Content Creators and Consumers" (Nov. 2005) was highlighted in a speech by Lee Rainie to the recent 2006 Public Library Association Conference.
57% of all today's teenagers (in the US) create content while online and they do this as a matter of course, having grown up with a range of interactive media in a connected world.
Examples include blogging, creating personal webpages, sharing tagged photos, personal stories and videos online and remixing, repurposing and sharing this online content using easy to use, instant publishing tools, social software and hosted spaces.
The report refers to their "... unique attachment to the communications power of these new technology tools" which "... translates into new and different expectations about how to gather, work with, translate, and share information."
In the process, they are more often "...unaware of or indifferent to the consequences of their use of technology" and "... uncaring about their own privacy..."
The popularity of sites such as MySpace, Bebo and others have raised concerns about privacy and safety of teens online.
eSchool News Online published an article, "Experts to students: Watch what you post!" on Feb 9th 2006. This news item warned about the need for young people to exercise more discretion in what they post about themselves online and against releasing too much personal information in social software sites such as MySpace.com. It's not just teens who are guilty of this. Many adults are unaware of such issues.
The Pew Internet Report comments on the teenager's "... world in which the line between what’s public and what’s private is less clear; where boundaries of taste and etiquette are shifting."
Wired Safety and BBC Safe Surfing provide some useful advice for teens, parents and educators. Educators have a role to play as mentioned in a previous post.
Lee Rainie provided timely advice to the conference about the opportunities to "model “media literacy” ... at appropriate teaching moments" ... and educate ... "about the basic rationale for copyright."
Lee's conference speech (with slides) is well worth reading in addition to the original report.

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