Watkins cited a Kaiser Family Foundation study that found kids between the ages of eight and 18 spent an average of seven and a half hours a day with some form of media in 1999. In 2009, kids the same age are spending an average of 11 hours a day with media.
“They’re media multitaskers, and many of them say it’s hard not to be connected. Ninety-eight percent of teens have a personal profile on a social networking site. They’re also not just consumers, they’re creators of content. They truly are digital natives, and we can’t ignore that,” said Watkins.
Watkins gave the example of the Quest to Learn School for digital natives. Here, the school uses game design principles like engagement and motivation to achieve a goal of promoting learning through collaboration, problem solving, and “transmedia navigation,” which is the ability to filter through information.
“The digital tipping point, or the point where kids become immersed in digital media, is starting younger and younger,” he said. “Schools need to embrace technology in a way that becomes a bridge to student motivation.”
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