Young people ‘prefer to read on screen’

Young people are now much more likely to prefer to read on a computer screen rather than a printed book or magazine, teenager reading from a tabletaccording to a UK survey. The National Literary Trust studied almost 35,000 eight- to 16-year-olds. Its findings suggest a picture of young people who are now immersed in a screen-based culture. As well as social networking and browsing websites, the study indicates almost a third of youngsters read fiction on online devices.

Screen-agers: The study suggests high levels of access to mobile phones, computers and tablet devices now mean that reading is an activity more likely to be on screen than on the printed page. Of those surveyed, 52% preferred to read on screen compared with 32% who preferred print, with the remainder having no opinion or preferring not to read at all. “Not only are children and young people more likely to read on electronic devices than they are to read paper-based materials but they also do it more often,” said the study. Researchers found that 39% of the young people read every day on computers and screens, compared with 28% who read each day using printed materials.

Technology is central to the lives of these youngsters – 97% reported having access to a computer and the internet at home, 77% said they had their own computer. Much of this will be used for activities such as social networking websites, but there were also signs of a switch to the screen for other types of reading, such as fiction, news and information.

About a third were reading fiction on screen, with higher levels for those using tablet computers or e-readers. And 23% of the youngsters read fiction on their smartphones.

But there has so far not been a complete shift to reading on screen, with 53% still reading novels in printed form. The girls were more likely to read printed books than the boys – with both having similar levels of reading on screen. Younger children who read printed books as well as used computers were more likely to have higher reading levels than those who only read on screen, the study said. Although this gap did not apply to those children who used tablet computers or e-readers. A clearer pattern was visible with the readership of printed newspapers. This has tumbled from 46% in 2005 to 31% in this latest study. In contrast, there are now 41% of these young people who read news stories online.

How to find a graduate job using social media

Using social media wisely at university can help land the perfect graduate job. young person using tablet

For most students, using social media and applying for graduate jobs are entirely separate activities. After all, status updates about your “excellent communication skills” and A* in English Literature are as likely to interest your friends as embarrassing drunken photos are likely to impress prospective employers.

But get it right and social media can play a key role in landing the perfect graduate job once you leave university.

Over 90 per cent of employers will use social recruiting, and among the many tools available to students you would do well consider your professional online brand using LinkedIn. From a professional-looking photo, keyword-aware headline statement and summary section, to identifying your top skills and achieving an ‘all-star’ profile, there are many aspects to building an online presence that reflects your career ambitions.

Text-speak: language evolution or just laziness?

Pupils are becoming increasingly “bilingual” in English and text-speak, a new study claims. But is it just a simple decline in proper language skills?boy texting

Schoolchildren as young as eight are showing a growing proficiency in bilingualism, according to a recent poll of UK parents and teachers. The only hitch? They’re bilingual in English and “text-speak” – the phonetic or acronymic bites of language such as “L8R” or “LOL.”

What’s more, this text-speak is creeping beyond their smartphones and into pupils’ everyday language. Mencap, a charity for learning disabilities, sponsored a poll of 500 UK parents and teachers. Two-in-three teachers reported that they regularly find text-speak in pupils’ homework. Over three-quarters of parents say they have to clarify the cryptic text-speak in their children’s texts and emails.

Almost all participants surveyed (89 per cent) said that this growing prevalence of text speak is creating a veritable language barrier between themselves and children.

Clearly, these shortened bits of language like “m8” and “b4” aren’t just for concise texting with friends. They are altering the way that children communicate.

Schoolchildren ‘losing the power to concentrate in class’

student on computer

The influence of social media, games consoles and mobile phones on pupils’ lives is one of the biggest crises facing the modern education system, it is claimed.

David Boddy, chairman of The Society of Heads, which represents more than 100 independent schools, says the country is in the grip of a “national attention deficit syndrome” because children spend so much time plugged into screen-based entertainment.

In a speech today, he will warn that children are now unable to concentrate “for more than the shortest of periods”.

The decline is being fuelled by a breakdown in traditional family units, with children expending large amounts of energy being pulled between divorced parents, he says.

Mr Boddy, headmaster of St James Senior Boys’ School in Ashford, Surrey, also claims that pupils are losing the art of “proper concentrated conversation” because they are so used to communicating with friends via Facebook.

How Tweets influence mobile and tech shoppers

twitter imageTwitter has released a new mobile study that shines a light on how exposure to Tweets can drive brand engagement.

The ‘Tweets in Action: Mobile/Tech’ study found quite simply that the more Tweets shoppers see, the higher the likelihood that they will visit brand websites, search for these websites, or visit third-party review sites to find out more about the brands they saw on Twitter.

These mobile users we already know feature Twitter as a major part of nearly every aspect of their lives, and are likely to be on Twitter from their commute, on throughout the rest of the day, and into their social lives.

The comprehensive study looked at three different groups of users. The first group consisted of those users who were exposed to at least one Tweet by a mobile product or carrier brand. The two remaining groups of users were control groups: one consisted of Twitter visitors who were not exposed to mobile/tech brand Tweets, and the other represented the average internet user. There were three key findings on site visitation and Tweet exposure.

Capturing the moment!

 

A Google Streetview image of Westgate Drive Auckland showing a child lying in the road during a what is described as a road safety drill. Photo / Supplied A Google Streetview image of Westgate Drive Auckland showing a child lying in the road during a what is described as a road safety drill.

At first glance, it appears Google has snapped the moment before a horrific accident – a boy lying face-down on the road, a car about to run him over.

Among the onlookers, three children seem to stand paralysed with fear, hands out to try to stop the car.

But the image is just a West Auckland primary school running through a standard road safety tutorial with the local police constable.

Royal Road Primary School said the Google vehicle that took the images for the site’s street view function in 2009 happened to go past in the middle of their training.

The school said it was a “set-up” photo to be used in a road safety presentation. “During the presentation, this photo would show the children what could happen if they were to dash out in front of a car on the road.”

The scene was controlled by a police officer and several adult helpers to ensure the safety of the children, the school told the Herald.

The image was plain to see on Wednesday but the child lying in the middle of the road has now been blurred out after Google was alerted.

Smartphones are the new ‘virtual handbags’ according to Mumsnet.

Marketing Weekly has indicated that Netmums, the parenting website, has urged advertisers to focus their marketing activity on mobile devices when targeting mums, following a report revealing that 10% of mothers are more likely to use technology, such as tablets and smartphones, than the average Briton.

  The survey, which polled 5,000 mums, also highlighted that UK mums are seven times more likely to own a tablet device than the general population, compared to 18% owning a smartphone.

According to Netmums founder, Siobhan Freegard, mums are using their mobile devices increasingly as a “virtual handbag” to help raise their families.

She adds: “From our research and conversations on our sites, mums are increasingly using their smartphones to help them raise their children. Advertisers should be doing more to be a part of this process, through apps, interactive advertising and more localised editorial content.”

The report revealed that 93% of online mums have a Facebook account, while two in five claim to use Twitter.

Freegard says: “With mums taking to mobile devices faster than the rest of population, brands ought to be looking at how this shift affects how open they are to sharing content, rather than solely concentrating on the harder metrics such as, KPIs and return-on-investment metrics.”

Additionally, almost 80% of mums now check online ratings and reviews before buying goods and 72% actively look for web discount vouchers.

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