ERIC Number: ED543278
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
iGeneration: The Social Cognitive Effects of Digital Technology on Teenagers
Ives, Eugenia A.
Online Submission, M.S. Thesis, Dominican University of California
The purpose of this study was to examine and better understand the social cognitive effects of digital technology on teenagers' brains and their socialization processes, as well as to learn best practices with regard to digital technology consumption. An extensive literature review was conducted on the social cognitive effects of digital technology on teenagers and an action research project was carried out gleaning quantitative and qualitative research findings collected from forty-six high school students, ranging from ages thirteen to fifteen. The findings of this paper are broken into three categories: (1) positive effects of digital technology; (2) negative effects of digital technology; (3) and, best practices with digital technology. One of the positive effects of digital technology is in education (and its potential future) as well as in iGeneration youths' ability to create content. Digital technology has the potential capacity to bridge the educational gap that exists between social economic demographics. Digital technology is creating a new digital literacy and connects learners to content with information and media available on the Internet. There are numerous negative effects of digital technology as well. One striking negative effect of digital technology consumption is how it diminishes our capacity for empathy by limiting how much people engage with one another. The addictive qualities associated with digital consumption and cyber usage is gaining prominence as a serious concern. Another negative risk of technology is the effects it has having on our attention span and is a potential source of the increasing ADD and ADHD in our culture. Finally, there are a myriad of best practices and suggested guidelines for teachers, educators, and teenagers that were an outcome of this research. In conclusion, we are in a fast tracked digital age where there is still much that is unknown nor are there longitudinal studies that explore how digital technology effects our brains, how we socialize, how we learn, and how we live. It is recommended, as a result of this research, to educate parents and educators on the importance of learning good practices and how to be involved in their teenagers' digital consumption habits as there seems to be a current lack of understanding and much misunderstanding, fear, and ambivalence from parents on the subject. Please see the appendix section for a data of the recommended best practices gathered in the literature review. The following appendixes are included: (1) selected highlights of rapid technological advancements from 1946 - 2012; (2) suggestions as to how adults can teach good digital citizenship to their teens; (3) rules of "Digital Citizenship Tips for Teens"; (4) selected American Academy of Pediatrics (2011) guideline recommendations for pediatricians; (5) selected American Academy of Pediatrics (2012a) guideline recommendations for parents; (6) summaries of some suggestions Dr. Rosen makes in his book, "iDisorder"; (7) seven daily essential brain balancing activities; (8) consolidated comprehensive review of suggested best practices for parents and educators; (9) websites for resources and tips; (10) treatment centers and resources for Internet and digital addiction; and (11) Sample of Common Sense media agreement for parents and teens in high school.
Descriptors: Influence of Technology, Computer Uses in Education, Web 2.0 Technologies, Computer Literacy, Media Literacy, Web Sites, Handheld Devices, Computer Use, Guidelines, Qualitative Research, Statistical Analysis, Action Research, Interviews, Data Analysis, Student Surveys, Online Surveys, Addictive Behavior, Adolescents, Socialization, Internet, Attention Span, Best Practices, Empathy, Problems, Brain, Cognitive Development, Adolescent Development, Social Cognition, High School Students, Citizenship Education, Ethical Instruction, Pediatrics, Educational Resources, Parent Materials, Technological Advancement, Child Safety
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California