Digital Youth

Web 2.0 Product

Melissa Leonard ~ INFO 5960 ~ Spring 2017

Who are Digital Natives?

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How do they participate?

Today's youth use technology at different levels of participation simultaneously, depending on their level of interest in content and creation.

Hanging Out

Youth use various forms of media to socialize and connect with peers as well as to establish a sense of self independent of their parents. They have established social norms that are closely aligned with offline behaviors. Over half of teens say they hang out online through social media and games. 76% of teens use social media, and most of them feel that it helps them create better relationships with their peers.

Messing Around

Youth use technology to explore new interests and entertain themselves. They collaborate with one another, expand their interests, and keep up with social trends and pop culture.

Geeking Out

Some teens interact in specialized groups at deep levels. These groups provide them the opportunity to learn from "experts" who can help them hone specific skills, give them feedback on their work, and provide forums to share their creations. Youth who are "geeking out" are more likely to interact online with people that they don't know offline than others who are just hanging out or messing around.

How do they learn?

Digital youth expect and demand educational experiences that encourage them to use digital media to produce MEANINGFUL CONTENT.
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How can educators respond?

Digital Native Learners
(Youtube video, Grosz, 2014)

Changing how we teach

Today's educators have to teach in a way that will engage students who are accustomed to having information at their fingertips. The teacher can no longer be the giver of information but must now become the facilitator, guiding students through collaborative learning experiences.
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ISTE Standards

These updated standards provide guidelines for the knowledge and skills that both teachers and students need to be successful in a connected society.
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Education today must cultivate student collaborators, innovators, creators, and real-world problem solvers. That is what digital youth expect and what they will need in order to be successful in the future.



Grosz, T. (2014, October 8). Digital native learners [Video file]. Retrieved from

Ito, M., Baumer, S., Bittanti, M., boyd, d., Cody, R., Herr-Stephenson, B., ... Tripp, L. (2010).

Hanging out, messing around, and geeking out: Kids living and learning with new media.

Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Lenhart, A. (2015, April 19). Teens, social media, & technology overview 2015. Retrieved from