rachaelsullivan + youth   30

Robot Diaries Interim Project Report: Development of a Technology Program for Middle School Girls (2008)
Middle school girls are generally seen as avid technology users.Robot Diaries seeks to broaden this relationship with technology by providing middle school girls with the tools they need to become fluent creators and adapters of technology.
girls  digitalliteracy  users  youth  competence 
may 2016 by rachaelsullivan
How social media is destroying the lives of teen girls | New York Post
“I spoke to girls who said, ‘social media is destroying our lives,’ ” Sales says. “ ‘But we can’t go off it, because then we’d have no life.’ There’s this whole perception that [teenage girls] love social media, but in many ways they hate it. But they don’t stop, because that’s where teen culture is happening.”
girls  socialmedia  instagram  facebook  women  moralcrisis  youth  addiction 
may 2016 by rachaelsullivan
A story about Jessica and her computer. — Medium (2014, now deleted)
I want you to imagine someone for me. Her name is Jessica and she is 17 years old. She lives in a two-bedroom apartment with her mother and uses an old laptop she got from one of her mom’s ex-boyfriends. With it, she browses the portals that serve as her connection to the community constructed around attending the same high school. She is concerned with boys and love and the next rent payment, which keeps her and her mother in the apartment.

She doesn’t have the money for a new laptop, nor does she have the money to upgrade it, either. She wouldn’t even know how to do that anyway. She has other interests, like biology. She also worries about how she would pay for college, if she can keep her grades up enough to get a scholarship somehow.

The only person she knows in her whole life that’s good with computers is Josh from English class. She knows she needs an antivirus, so she asks him for help. He gives her an option that costs $50 a year, but he notices her sudden discomfort and kindly mentions an antivirus that’s free. When she goes home, she downloads and installs it. It took some effort, was a bit complicated and took a while to download, but there was now a reassuring new icon in the bottom right of her screen. The icon that says “Protected,” when she hovers her mouse over it.

Jessica hears on the news, all the time, about the databases of companies being hacked and photos of superstars being stolen. She heard on CNN you’re supposed to have a complex password with something special in it, like a dollar sign. As a result, she does… or at least on her Facebook account. She isn’t interested enough to find out how to change her other account passwords. That sounds too time consuming, and she is busy enough just trying to remember the abstract strings of equations in math class. She doesn’t want to remember another abstract string of numbers and letters for all her new passwords. Besides, she’s a teenager, whose brains aren’t very good at planning or compensating for risk yet.

She heard about something called a password manager, but she knows not to download things from the Internet. She doesn’t know what to trust. One time, she clicked the “Download Now” button for a program she heard about from the news, and it took her to a different website. She has no community to ask for advice regarding such things. Besides, she’s thinking about her date with Alex on Saturday. Jessica worries if he’s going to like her, once he gets to know her better, sitting together and talking one on one for the first time

Sometimes, she gets prompts to update software. But one time, she updated something called Java, and after clicking the blue E that gets her to Facebook, a new line of icons appeared. She doesn’t know for sure it was related, but she’s still a bit suspicious. However, the computer still works, and she doesn’t want to break anything trying to figure it out. She can’t afford to pay Geek Squad $200. It’s annoying, but her computer is still working. The next time something asks to update, she’ll say no. She doesn’t need any new features, especially ones that make her Facebook window smaller. And if they were important wouldn’t they just install automatically? Why would it even ask?

One day, Jessica gets an email that says it’s an eviction notice. It says it’s from “tennantcommunication@hud.gov”. She knows what HUD is based on the forms her mother fills out to help pay for the apartment. However, she heard about opening unknown files on the news, so she goes into detective mode. She types in hud.gov and it’s what she thinks it is. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She browses the site… it doesn’t look like anyone in Russia wrote it, so she opens the file attached to the email. Adobe Reader opens, but the email plainly says that if the document is empty, there’s nothing to worry about. She tries to go to the next page, but there isn’t one. Oh well. She won’t mention it to her mother. She doesn’t want to worry her. It’s 7:40PM and she’s going out with friends.

What Jessica doesn’t know is the white light on her laptop, that started coming on that day, is the indicator for the built-in camera. She doesn’t even know it has a camera, but that camera started recording her. And the software controlling her camera also started recording the screen. It recorded everything… including when she was emailing the pictures she took for Alex, after she fell in love with him. At least, when she types in passwords, they always show up as black dots. Even if someone was behind her watching, they wouldn’t know the password. What she doesn’t know, is that her keyboard was being recorded, too. Nothing told her. Just like nothing told her the camera was on… or the microphone.

Once in awhile, she hovers her mouse over the antivirus icon. It says “Protected,” just like it always does. It must be right. It’s the software Josh recommended, after all.

———

What was Jessica’s sin in this story? Was it not educating herself on the benefits of Open Source philosophy and running Linux, software which is free? Was it not having friends or family that knew about computers, whom she could ask for advice? Was it not befriending Josh? Was it being someone who had other priorities in life? Was it not knowing that the companies providing her software updates also try to trick her into installing junkware, and she needs to uncheck “Install Ask Toolbar” every time? Was it stupidly not knowing the era that SMTP was designed in and that it doesn’t provide any authentication? Why didn’t she put tape over the webcam? Why didn’t she take apart the laptop to remove the microphone?

Maybe this isn’t her fault. Maybe computer security for the average person isn’t a series of easy steps and absolutes they discard from our golden mouths of wise truths in order to spite the nerd underclass.

Perhaps it’s the very design of General Purpose Computing. And who built this world of freedom, a world that has so well served 17-year-old Jessica? You did. We did.

So whose fault is it.
users  userfriendliness  youth  women  security  hacker-victims  teens  girls  competence 
december 2014 by rachaelsullivan
Photo Real: On Photoshop, Feminism, and Truth | VICE United States
From Photoshop to Instagram, each tech iteration has made retouching more democratic—and more despised. The self-facing phone cam is a master class in how posing affects perception. Media concern-trolls Photoshop's effect on teen girls. Meanwhile, teen girls use iPhone retouching apps to construct media of themselves.
photography  photoshop  instagram  youth  women  selfie  feminism  bodyimage  from delicious
may 2014 by rachaelsullivan
2010 - Does Digital Media Make Us Bad Writers? | Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning
Young people today approach writing differently, she also thinks. Rather than organizing a piece of writing based on a logical progression, with argument at its base, Lunsford says they are instead organizing their content and material by association. Like a well-crafted essay, one idea leads to another in an associational framework—more akin to organizing a website.
lunsford  writing  digitaltext  digitalliteracy  carr  youth  from delicious
april 2014 by rachaelsullivan
Facebook Phone: Like It or Not, It's Probably Real
Those youths are migrating to platforms like Tumblr, which really isn’t a social network per se and upstarts like Keek and Snapchat. The latter is not nearly as rich an environment as Facebook. It simply lets users converse in images and gifs that they create and manipulate on the fly. It’s clearly the thing of the moment, while Facebook is now the established, aging giant.
facebook  youth  tumblr  socialmedia  from delicious
april 2013 by rachaelsullivan
If Your Kids Are Awake, They’re Probably Online - NYTimes.com
The average young American now spends practically every waking minute — except for the time in school — using a smart phone, computer, television or other electronic device, according to a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
identity  digitalculture  statistics  youth 
july 2012 by rachaelsullivan
The Children of Cyberspace: Old Fogies by Their 20s - NYTimes.com
Another bubbling intra-generational gap, as any modern parent knows, is that younger children tend to be ever more artful multitaskers. Studies performed by Dr. Rosen at Cal State show that 16- to 18-year-olds perform seven tasks, on average, in their free time — like texting on the phone, sending instant messages and checking Facebook while sitting in front of the television.

People in their early 20s can handle only six, Dr. Rosen found, and those in their 30s perform about five and a half.

That versatility is great when they’re killing time, but will a younger generation be as focused at school and work as their forebears?
generations  reading  youth  attention 
july 2012 by rachaelsullivan
Students Learn Equally Well From Digital as From Paperbound Texts
a counter to curmudgeon-lit...
Although digital texts are growing in popularity, few studies have systematically examined whether students can learn as well when reading a digital text, compared to reading a paperbound textbook. The present study examined several variables related to comprehension of digital versus paper textbooks, including text complexity, engagement with the text, and long-term retention. Seventy-four students, randomly assigned to read an entire chapter from either a paperbound text or its digital equivalent, completed a 20-item multiple-choice quiz immediately after reading and 1 week later. No differences in comprehension emerged across any variables except for a main effect of test time. More important, there were no interactions with text medium. Therefore, the key to student comprehension appears not to be the method of text delivery but, rather, getting students to read in the first place.
learning  youth  research  statistics  paper  curmudgeonlit 
may 2012 by rachaelsullivan
About us | Raspberry Pi
The idea behind a tiny and cheap computer for kids came in 2006, when Eben Upton and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory, including Rob Mullins, Jack Lang and Alan Mycroft, became concerned about the year-on-year decline in the numbers and skills levels of the A Level students applying to read Computer Science in each academic year. From a situation in the 1990s where most of the kids applying were coming to interview as experienced hobbyist programmers, the landscape in the 2000s was very different; a typical applicant might only have done a little web design.

Something had changed the way kids were interacting with computers. A number of problems were identified: the colonisation of the ICT curriculum with lessons on using Word and Excel, or writing webpages; the end of the dot-com boom; and the rise of the home PC and games console to replace the Amigas, BBC Micros, Spectrum ZX and Commodore 64 machines...
generativemedia  sterilemedia  youth  programming  opensource  dh 
april 2012 by rachaelsullivan
Teenage social media butterflies may not be such a bad idea
Kids most likely to spend a lot of time texting and on Facebook, among other networking sites, may be more well-adjusted, studies suggest.
socialmedia  youth  facebook  teens 
may 2010 by rachaelsullivan
Not addiction. Dependency.
By dismissing talk of "Internet addiction" as rhetorical overkill, which it is, we also avoid undertaking an honest examination of how deeply our media devices have been woven into our lives and how they are shaping those lives in far-reaching ways, for better and for worse. In the course of just a decade, we have become profoundly dependent on a new and increasingly pervasive technology. What happens to the human self as it comes to experience more and more of the world, and of life, through the mediation of the screen?
carr  addiction  screens  self  identity  youth  internet 
may 2010 by rachaelsullivan
Andrey Ternovskiy's Web site, Chatroulette : The New Yorker
Ternovskiy says that he sees the computer as "one hundred percent my window into the world." He doesn't seek much else. "I always believed that computer might be that thing that I only need, that I only need that thing to survive," he says. "It might replace everything."
identity  screens  generations  youth  self  internet 
may 2010 by rachaelsullivan
Clive Thompson on the New Literacy
The fact that students today almost always write for an audience (something virtually no one in my generation did) gives them a different sense of what constitutes good writing. In interviews, they defined good prose as something that had an effect on the world. For them, writing is about persuading and organizing and debating, even if it's over something as quotidian as what movie to go see.
youth  writing  lunsford  thompson  socialmedia 
august 2009 by rachaelsullivan
Lead Us to Tweet, And Forgive the Trespassers
Religious groups from Episcopalians to Orthodox Jews have signed up for Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks to gain a global platform and to appeal to young people.

Still, many clerics admit to an uneasiness about the merger of worship and electronic chatter.

In online debates and private discussions, leaders of all faiths have been weighing pros and cons and diagramming the boundaries of acceptable interactions: Should the congregation have a Facebook page, or should it be the imam’s or priest’s? Should there be limited access? Censoring? Is it appropriate for a clergy member to “friend” a minor?

Some recoil at the informality and unpredictability of the crowds marshaled by social media, and at their seeming immunity — even hostility — to the authority of established institutions. More deeply, some in the clergy see a basic tension between the anonymous world of online life and the meaning of religious community.
religion  church  twitter  socialmedia  confusion  youth 
august 2009 by rachaelsullivan
Why Do They Do It? Portrayals of Alcohol on Facebook and MySpace « Neuroanthropology
Facebook/MySpace allows for the creation of new or altered identity and the presentation of this identity to others. Individuals can portray themselves as social, attractive, and popular by posting pictures of themselves surrounded by friends at a party. In theory, this makes them more desirable to the other sex and ‘cooler’ to their peers.
facebook  identity  myspace  self  socialmedia  youth 
june 2009 by rachaelsullivan
Is Facebook rotting our children’s brains? « Neuroanthropology
As you might be able to tell from the way that I’ve written this up, I find Greenfield’s critique of online interaction internally inconsistent and contradictory, in part because Greenfield is critiquing in one slather (at least the way it’s written up in the story) a number of distinct computer-based activities, some of which aren’t even really online. For example, the effects of violent first-person video games on a user would likely be significantly different than self-presentational social networking websites like Facebook or flash communication technologies like texting or Twittering. So I’ll try to sort out what I think Lady Greenfield’s primary fears are see how they square with each other.
curmudgeonlit  facebook  fear  greenfield  narrative  socialmedia  twitter  youth 
june 2009 by rachaelsullivan
Identity Production in a Networked Culture: Why Youth Heart MySpace
Youth are not creating digital publics to scare parents - they are doing so because they need youth space, a place to gather and see and be seen by peers. Publics are critical to the coming-of-age narrative because they provide the framework for building cultural knowledge. Restricting youth to controlled spaces typically results in rebellion and the destruction of trust. Of course, for a parent, letting go and allowing youth to navigate risks is terrifying. Unfortunately, it's necessary for youth to mature.

What we're seeing right now is a cultural shift due to the introduction of a new medium and the emergence of greater restrictions on youth mobility and access. The long-term implications of this are unclear. Regardless of what will come, youth are doing what they've always done - repurposing new mediums in order to learn about social culture.
identity  socialnetworking  youth  boyd  myspace 
april 2009 by rachaelsullivan
Teens Still Live Mostly Offline, Study Finds
Even when engaged in digital communications, young people prefer activities with a social context -- "texting friends" and "sharing video content with friends" both score much higher than watching video alone on their handheld device.
socialmedia  teens  youth 
april 2009 by rachaelsullivan
CRE study on video media use
GROUND-BREAKING STUDY OF VIDEO VIEWING FINDS YOUNGER BOOMERS CONSUME MORE VIDEO MEDIA THAN ANY OTHER GROUP

Traditional Television Remains “800 Pound Gorilla”
In Video Media Arena
research  statistics  television  youth  generations 
march 2009 by rachaelsullivan
Grow Up? Not so Fast...
Meet the Twixters. They're not kids anymore, but they're not adults either. Why a new breed of young people won't — or can't — settle down (2005)
generations  youth 
november 2008 by rachaelsullivan

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