Monday, 21 January 2008

Teenage use of Web 2.0

Part of our presentation for BOBCATSSS uses this report from Pew. It examines the online behaviour of teenagers in the US and finds that a high percentage are engaged with web 2.o activities such as social networking. They are also creating and re-mixing content to a degree that we haven't seen before. Crucially for us as academic librarians, the age range indicated (12-17 year olds) will be our intake for the next few years.

I would argue that unless we adapt and adopt, we will be alienating them from the moment they encounter our services.

1 comment:

Helen Buckley Woods said...

I don't think it is the right approach to adapt all services, to have technology as the main driver in service development; it would not serve all our users well. It is important to embrace new technologies, be seen to be moving with the times and apply new solutions where they are more effective and beneficial.

I have reservations about focussing all efforts on developing services around social networking and content creation.

A number of things have come to mind:

Teens are using these technologies for fun, no matter how you present literature searching, research methodologies, critical appraisal etc these are tough things that require hard work and going through some concentration and pain!!

From a HE perspective there are a large number of students who do not fit this demographic, a number of older students, (for example those returning to study to achieve a qualification as a health professional) do not have the same experience as some of their younger colleagues in terms of IT literacy - and may not be particularly interested - seeing IT as a means to an end rather than something which is to be investigated or enjoyed.

Social Class - a quick look at the figures contained in the survey reveal what one would have thought - those with a "middle class" background - (the documents rates income levels and splits between urban/suburban and rural areas) are more likely to be active with social networking than their poorer urban peers.