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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Gadgets, Games and Gizmos: Dad, Can I Download the Teletubbies Ring Tone

A while back I posted a definition of a gamer. Someone who has grown up with video games and gadgets. In fact, I frequently write about this generation and think of myself as fairly knowledgeable and aware of what they are doing, heck, I've written a bookon how tech-savvy and connected this generation is as compared to the boomer generation and Gen Xers (me). I even coined Gamer 4.0s to explain their use of technology and games for learning and interacting with each other.

Their use of technology shouldn't phase me...well I apparently have a lot to learn...I was SHOCKED when I saw the release of a recent study by the NPD Group (a consumer and retail market research firm.)

Here is the statistic that floored me:
  • About 15% of 2- to 5-year-olds use cell phones
(that's no typo...two to five year olds using cell phones)

Immediately, my wife asks, "who are they calling?"

I say, "I didn't even realize they could talk at age 2."

Wow, what type of impact is that generation...ubertechs going to have on learning and society...if we are not beginning to embrace technology now for learning and knowledge sharing, we will watch the bus speed away..because we are going to miss it.

Here are some more statistics from the InformationWeek article titled Attack Of The Tech-Savvy Toddlers
Children as young as 2 years old are downloading content to cell phones, computers, and portable digital music players.

More than one in 10 children download content by the time they are 7 years old, 22% download by age 10, and 50% download at 14, according to the report.

Seventy-five percent of children with an Internet connection use it, and nearly half browse the Web without help and one-third do so with their parents or someone else, according to the study.

Downloading games is the most prevalent activity, while 25% of children watch downloaded movies, television, music videos, or streaming video content, the study found.

Children spend an average of 44 minutes per session playing on video game systems and the same amount of time listening to music on portable digital music players, according to NPD.

This really makes a case for m-learning and for focusing our efforts on figuring out appropriate instructional design strategies for these ubertechs.

Imagine how tech-savvy a 22 year old is going to be when she started downloading content to her cell phone when she was three.

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