The time students spend using online social-networking sites and other forms of digital media is not wasted, according to a new report released last month from Florida State University in Tallahassee.
Experimenting with new technologies, like iPods, allows young people to pick up basic social and technical skills, such as how to create a video game or customize a MySpace page, according to report co-author Lisa Tripp, an assistant professor in the university’s College of Information. Young people can also learn online through trial and error and by communicating with peers and communities.
The three-year study is part of a $50 million project on digital and media learning funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
A version of this article appeared in the January 21, 2009 edition of Education Week