Teens learn important social skills online

Despite the number of parents telling their teenagers to get off the computer, a new study shows it may actually be doing them good.

In new research conducted by the University of Southern California and the University of California, Berkeley, it was found internet participation fell into two categories; “friendship driven” and “interest driven”.

The study found young people add media skills, knowledge and “learn basic social and technical skills that they need to fully participate in contemporary society”.

“There are myths about kids spending time online – that it is dangerous or making them lazy,” report author Mizuko Ito told The Age. “But we found that spending time online is essential for young people to pick up the social and technical skills they need to be competent citizens in the digital age.

“Kids learn on the internet in a self-directed way, by looking around for information they are interested in, or connecting with others who can help them. This is a big departure from how they are asked to learn in most schools, where the teacher is the expert and there is a fixed set of content to master.”


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