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10 Things to Know About How Teens Use Technology Kristen Purcell, Ph.D. Associate Director, Research Pew Internet Project ACT Enrollment Planners Conference July 10, 2013. Part of the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan “fact tank” based in Washington, DC

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Part of the pew research center a nonpartisan fact tank based in washington dc

10 Things to Know About How Teens Use TechnologyKristen Purcell, Ph.D.Associate Director, ResearchPew Internet ProjectACT Enrollment Planners ConferenceJuly 10, 2013


Part of the pew research center a nonpartisan fact tank based in washington dc

Part of the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan “fact tank” based in Washington, DC

PRC’s mission is to provide high quality, objective data to thought leaders and policymakers

Data for this talk is from nationally representative telephone surveys of U.S. adults and teens (on landlines and cell phones) unless otherwise noted

Presentation slides and all data are available at pewinternet.org


Part of the pew research center a nonpartisan fact tank based in washington dc

A story about Kristen and Holly…

This is Kristen

(she may look familiar)

Kristen was born in 1970

She grew up in a house with a landline telephone (eventually two landlines!)

She used a payphone to call her parents to pick her up at school

Her family had a VCR and an answering machine, and Kristen had a walkman

“Call waiting” was the rage in HS


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A story about Kristen and Holly…

This is Kristen

(she may look familiar)

Kristen took typing classes in high school and typed papers on an electric typewriter (with autocorrect!)

She used library books to do research for school

She typed her college applications on her electric typewriter and submitted them by mail

Everything she knew about the colleges she applied to came from books, friends, and teachers


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A story about Kristen and Holly…

This is Kristen

(she may look familiar)

Kristen got her first computer, a Mac, freshman year in college (1988)

She began using something called “email” junior year in college (1990)

She would analyze datasets by dialing in to her college mainframe

In graduate school, Kristen got a laptop and a Palm Pilot, did most of her research online, and submitted papers as email attachments


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A story about Kristen and Holly…

This is Kristen

(she may look familiar)

Kristen was the last one she knew to get a cell phone, in 2004 at age 34

She now has a smartphone, an iPad, two laptops, and a desktop

She has broadband and a wireless network at home, and MiFi for traveling

She can access work documents and email anywhere in the world

Kristen now has a Facebook page, Twitter account, and Pinterest profile, and loves texting


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A story about Kristen and Holly…

This is Holly

(this is not actually Holly, she would kill me if I used her real picture)

Holly was born in 1995

She is entering her senior year in high school and is applying to colleges

Holly has never known a world without the internet, email, PCs or cell phones

When she was born, almost half of adults used the internet and had cell phones

By the time she was 10, 73% of adults had cell phones and 30% had laptops


Part of the pew research center a nonpartisan fact tank based in washington dc

A story about Kristen and Holly…

This is Holly

(this is not actually Holly, she would kill me if I used her real picture)

At age 10, Holly got her first cell phone

At age 14, on a family trip, Holly was forced to teach her aunt how to text

Today, Holly has an iPhone – she is one of 37% of teens who have a smartphone and one of 78% of teens who have a cell phone of any kind

Like 87% of her peers, Holly has a phone that can take pictures

Holly can also use her phone to record video, watch and share videos, and listen to music


Part of the pew research center a nonpartisan fact tank based in washington dc

A story about Kristen and Holly…

This is Holly

(this is not actually Holly, she would kill me if I used her real picture)

Holly got her first computer when she started middle school – so she could do her homework online

Today, she has her own laptop – she is part of the 93% of teens who use a laptop or desktop computer at home

When Holly was born, the World Wide Web was 5 years old…. today Holly is one of 95% of teens who use the internet


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A story about Kristen and Holly…

This is Holly

(this is not actually Holly, she would kill me if I used her real picture)

Facebook emerged in 2004, when Holly was 9

Today, Holly has a Facebook page, where she (reluctantly) is friends with her aunts and uncles

Holly is joined by 82% of her online peers on social networking sites

She is one of 62% of online teens who post photos of themselves online

Holly likes Facebook but she LOVES Tumblr – along with 5% of her peers


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A story about Kristen and Holly…

This is Holly

(this is not actually Holly, she would kill me if I used her real picture)

Twitter emerged in 2006 when Holly was 11 and in middle school

Holly doesn’t use Twitter – but one in four of her online friends do (24%)

YouTube emerged a year prior to Twitter, in 2005, when Holly was just starting middle school

Today, 27% of Holly’s online peers record and upload videos

13% of her online peers stream live video to the internet and 37% use video chat


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A story about Kristen and Holly…

This is Holly

(this is not actually Holly, she would kill me if I used her real picture)

Holly researched colleges online and emailed programs before deciding which schools to visit

A main source was YouTube, where she saw not only “official” school videos, but videos by students that revealed a LOT about college life

She chose not to visit schools with slow or difficult to navigate websites because she felt it was a sign they were not keeping up with technology

Holly submitted her first college application this week – online


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78% of teens have a cell phone, almost half (47%) of whom own smartphones

That means 37% of all teens have smartphones, up from 23% in 2011

23% of teens have a tablet, comparable to the general adult population

95% of teens use the internet

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

71% with home computer access say the laptop or desktop they use most often is one they share with other family members

“Teens and Technology 2013”


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74% of teens access the internet on mobile devices

1 in 4 are “cell-mostly” internet users (15% of adults who are cell-mostly)

Among teen smartphone owners, half are cell-mostly internet users

Older girls are most likely to be cell-mostly internet users; 34% mostly go online using their cell phone, compared with 24% of boys ages 14-17 (boys and girls are equally likely to be smartphone owners)

Among older teen girls who are smartphone owners, 55% use the internet mostly from their phone

Overall, teens living in lower-income and lower-education households are still less likely to use the internet

However, those in low income or low education hhs are just as likely and in some cases more likely than those in higher income or more highly educated hhs to use their cell phone as a primary point of internet access

“Teens and Technology 2013”


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10 Things to Know…

#1 – Among teens 12-17, social network site growth has slowed (particularly Facebook), but Twitter use is growing rapidly


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FB remains dominant platform

There was little room left for FB growth among teen social media users


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10 Things to Know…

#2 – Today’s teens are sharing more personal information online than teens have in the past


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10 Things to Know…

#3 – Today’s teens do care about online privacy


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Teen Facebook users are aware of their privacy settings

Most teens use the “private” setting on Facebook

Only 1% don’t know what their privacy settings are


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Twitter is a more public platform for most teens

On Twitter, most teens’ tweets are public

12% don’t know what their privacy settings are


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40% of teens are at least “somewhat concerned” about 3rd party access to their info…


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10 Things to Know…

#4 – Today’s teens take active steps to manage their online reputations


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Teens manage their online reputations by deleting undesirable material

One in five teen social media users regret some-thing they posted


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Most teen social media users have deleted or blocked people in their network


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10 Things to Know…

#5 – Parents of teens are very aware that online content can impact their teens’ lives


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Parents of online teens are as concerned about reputation management as they are about strangers online

72% express concern about strangers online

69% are concerned about online reputation mgmt


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10 Things to Know…

#6 – Most teens’ educational environments include the use of at least some digital technologies


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Cell phones are used more than tablets or e-readers as educational tools

All of these tools are more likely to be used by teachers of higher SES students


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Teens are using cell phones as learning tools

42% of AP and NWP teachers say their students use their phones to look up information in class

38% say students take pictures or record video with their phones for class assignments

18% say students use cell phones to upload school related content to the internet

11% report students texting in class with a teacher/other students as a part of a class assignment

2% have students use an online cell phone platform like CELLY


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Research is the most common online activity teachers give students

Teachers are less likely to use interactive tech tools such as wikis or GoogleDocs as part of the learning process


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10 Things to Know…

#7 – The internet has fundamentally altered how teens do research, but not necessarily for the worse


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For today’s teens, research =

“Googling”

The internet and digital tools open up a vast array of information and resources

Yet students must have the skills to dig through this information to find the most credible and salient content


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Overall, teachers say the positives outweigh the negatives

“The internet makes doing research easier…. easier to do well and easier to do poorly”

– AP teacher focus group


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10 Things to Know…

#8 – Digital tools can benefit teens’ writing skills and abilities, according to teachers


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Students write more and are more engaged in their writing

A broader audience + more opportunities for expression and feedback have many students more engaged in the writing process

92% of AP and NWP teachers surveyed describe writing assignments as “essential” to the formal learning process

“Writing effectively” tops teachers’ list of skills students need to be successful

(91% say it is essential)


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  • In focus groups, teachers expressed concerns about…

  • Informal language and grammar creeping into formal writing

  • Generally diminishing grammatical and vocabulary skills

  • Cultural emphasis on truncated forms of expression


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10 Things to Know…

#9 – Teachers are divided as to whether “digital natives” are all that unique


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Are “digital natives” unique? Yes and No


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10 Things to Know…

#10 – A digital divide persists in the area of education and technology


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Teachers of the highest and lowest income students are not on a level playing field, and they are concerned

These AP and NWP teachers see disparities in tech access both at home and in schools

  • Teachers of the lowest income students…..

  • Are less satisfied with the support and resources provided by schools – 50% say their school does a “good job” in this area, compared with 70% among teachers of high income students

  • Are less likely to say their school provides formal training in how to effectively use digital tools in the classroom – 73% of teachers of high income students receive formal training compared with 60% of teachers of low income students

  • Are more than twice as likely to describe their school as “behind the curve” when it comes to using the newest digital tools – 39% say this, compared with 15% of teachers of high income students

  • Are twice as likely as teachers of the highest income students to say their schools’ internet filters and rules about cell phone use have a major impact on their ability to bring these tools into their teaching


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54% of these teachers say all or almost all of their students have sufficient access to digital tools while IN SCHOOL, but just 18% say the same is true AT HOME


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Overall, 84% of AP and NWP teachers surveyed say digital tools are leading to greater disparities across schools


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THANK YOU!!

All data available at: pewinternet.org

Kristen Purcell, Ph.D.

Associate Director, Research

Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project

[email protected]

Twitter:

@pewinternet

@kristenpurcell


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