The George Lucas Educational Foundation has a great Digital Generation Project running through its website EduTopia. Anyone who has an interest in digital media, especially educators involved in the development of online learning, wants to know how the next generation of digital media users is approaching both the technology and the distribution and design of digital media.
In the EduTopia project you can watch short video reports where young people between nine and eighteen describe how they use technology and digital media and what their relationship is to it.
Although we are looking at a small US-based sample, and there may well be variations if the sample were to be taken in Australia, Europe or Asia, I’d expect these differences to be minimal given the relatively global nature of online culture.
Here is one of the stories that shows how central digital media is to young users and demonstrates how this user relates to and uses the various available online platforms and channels:
If you are designing online learning materials and want a clearer idea of how this generation of users (and perhaps the next) will be interacting with your media, how they learn, why they are using the technology and what their relationship is to online services here are some excellent clips to help inform your design and development choices.