2013 AIS ICT Management and
Leadership Conference
Stay Agile – the game is
changing
Workshop 3A, 31 May 2013
DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY AND
AUSTRALIAN TEENAGERS
Consumption, Study and Careers
Dr Karen Macpherson
©Karen Macpherson
1
The survey (July – October 2012)
1. Teenager consumption of ICT What do young people do when they are not at school? How do
they use ICT?
2. Teenager perceptions and attitudes to ICT in classroom teaching
as an area of study in high school
3. Teenager understanding of ICT as an area of study at university
as a career
©Karen Macpherson
2
July – October 2012
The study:
ACT high schools
Government and independent
202 students, 8 schools
12-18 years
Female and male
Low, Medium and High ICSEA
©Karen Macpherson
3
1. Teenagers out-of-school:
Activities and ICT consumption
©Karen Macpherson
4
©Karen Macpherson
Iw
Every day
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fa
m
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ce
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ok
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th
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e
80
Id
o
t im
Ig
pe
nd
90
Is
Is
Percentage
100
Fig 1: out-of-school activities
hmwk
chores
70
Fbk
50
40
Every day
30
20
10
0
Every day or Several times a week (combined)
5
Figure 3: Digital technology in the home by school ICSEA (n = 202)
Digital technology in the home by school ICSEA
120
100
Percentage
80
60
40
20
0
Laptop
Home
computer
Wii
PC
Playstation
iPad
Xbox
Tablet
Mac
Technology
Low
©Karen Macpherson
Medium
High
6
ACT Teenagers – trends in activities by Age
120
100
Percentage
80
Sleep Mobile
Facebook
60
Games
Casual Job
40
20
0
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Age (Years)
©Karen Macpherson
7
ACT Teenagers – trends in activities by Age
120
100
Percentage
80
Sleep Mobile
Facebook
60
Games
Casual Job
40
20
0
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Age (Years)
©Karen Macpherson
8
Do you ever spend time reading or thinking?
“No (laughs) … doing yoga. I have my phone away from me then.
But I just like having it with me.”
Year 12 girl
©Karen Macpherson
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Fig 9
Facebook and Computer Games "every day" and "several times a week" combined by Gender
80
70
69
61
60
56
Percentage
50
40
30
Girls
Boys
21
20
Girls
Boys
10
0
Facebook
©Karen Macpherson
Computer games
10
Fig 11
Principal reasons for using technology
100%
90%
80%
70%
Percentage
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Communicate friends
Relax
Find information
Communicate family
Create
Buy and sell
Purpose
Every day
©Karen Macpherson
Several times a week
About once a week
Once or twice a month
Not at all
11
What do you do after school?
“Usually working on assignments and homework and I try to
get those done by the due date and after school cooking
dinner, cleaning up the house and that sort of thing
and if time maybe Facebook.”
Year 9 boy
“Umm… I’ve got a job so I go to work most afternoons
otherwise I go to the gym or do assignments.”
Year 10 girl
©Karen Macpherson
12
2. ICT at high school
©Karen Macpherson
13
Student comments on teacher use of technology in the classroom
Why or why not, would you like your teachers to use more or less technology in
the classroom?
They're not very good with technology usually.
They are too reliant on it and it's annoying when technology fails
because it doesn't always work
The teachers are really bad at using technology
Depends on the teacher and subject. Some subjects (eg Maths) are not suited to
technology. Some teachers are incompetent.
It can be distracting and when it fails the (technology) lesson can't go ahead
Because they often don't know how to use it property and it wastes time
sometimes unreliable and time consuming
teachers try to seem impressive using it but don't really know what they're doing;
wastes time
Indiffernt really if the teacher is incapaable
It should not take away the actual teacher teaching properly
They are often inept, slowing down learning
©Karen Macpherson
(Responses not corrected for grammar or spelling)
14
Suggestions for use of technology at school
©Karen Macpherson
Research
Across all subjects
Playing COD: MW3 or Minceraft or skyping
Teaching
EVERYTHING
Learning and work
Reacher tasks, creat (word)
I woundn't want ot because I'd get
distracvted
nearly everything, use laptops with drawing tablets
Taking notes etc
watching videos and doing assignments
Research, improvement in technology
Work
Computer Aided Drawings Couras
finding information
Computer studies, reasearch
playing games
assignments, homework and in-class tasks
Maths
Mainly to type work up
Make writting a lot eaiser
Taking notes and interacting with tachers
Games
Researching and learning with the aid of
media (like YouTube)
Doing assignments
to interact with students
Gaming
Typing up work. Assignments
lerning, play games
Games and helpful information
Creative purposes
Science laboratory to design and try out
interesting experiments
Videos
(Responses not corrected for grammar or
spelling)
15
Fig 14
Enjoys studying IT by School Year
35
30
Percentage
25
20
15
10
5
0
7
8
9
10
11
12
School Year
©Karen Macpherson
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Fig 12
"Would you like to study IT as a subject at school?
100%
19
90%
31
20
18
26
29
80%
53
70%
31
15
Percentage
60%
40
26
52
50%
57
6
40%
30%
54
20%
50
45
41
40
30
10%
17
0%
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Age (years)
Yes
©Karen Macpherson
No
Don't know
17
Table 12: Reasons for wanting to study (or not to study) IT at school
Reasons for wanting to
study IT at school
Reasons for NOT wanting to
study IT at school
Because we have a lot of IT today and it's
good to learn
Its a bit hard
Its fun and creative
Cause it's not interesting
I find it interesting and its one of my
strengths
not that interested
I like computers
I reather learn otehr things but I would if I
did nothing else
It is interesting and an important thing to
know.
I'm not interested in IT
So I learng how to use the computer well
Not Sure what I want to do with IT
I like using computers
It tends to be tedious plus I don't feel a
large benefit from it.
Because I like to understand what happens
"behind the scenes"
doesn’t look enjoyable
I think it is very fun
Not the place I want to be
to learn new things
Responses not corrected for grammar or
spelling
©Karen Macpherson
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Fig 13
"Would like to study IT" by "Has studied IT"
100%
90%
23
31
80%
70%
27
Percentage
60%
50%
39
40%
30%
50
20%
30
10%
0%
Yes
No
Has studied IT
Yes
©Karen Macpherson
No
Don't know
19
Table 21: Interest in Science, Maths and Computers
n
Yes %
No
%
Don’t
Know
%
Do you like studying
Science?
200
64
24
12
Do you enjoy doing
Maths?
201
60
31
9
202
52
28
20
Are you interested in
how computers work?
©Karen Macpherson
20
Fig 17
Are you interested in how computers work?
100%
12
16
90%
12
13
22
35
80%
19
47
70%
28
22
Percentage
60%
44
55
12
50%
18
40%
69
30%
20%
56
56
54
43
35
33
10%
0%
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Age (years)
Yes
©Karen Macpherson
No
Don't know
21
Fig 18
"Interest in how computers work" and "I would like to study IT at school" by Age
80
70
60
Percentage
50
40
30
20
10
0
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Age (years)
Interested in how computers work
©Karen Macpherson
Would like to study IT
22
Are you interested in studying IT?
“Yes - it is interesting and an important thing to know.”
Year 9 boy
“No – I already know it and it’s boring.”
Year 11 girl
©Karen Macpherson
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3. ICT - uni and careers
©Karen Macpherson
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Figure 19: Perceptions of Difficulty and Interest in studying IT at university
Perceptions of studying IT at university
100%
16
90%
80%
36
22
70%
Percentage
60%
50%
40%
55
62
30%
20%
10%
9
0%
Degree of difficulty (n = 156)
©Karen Macpherson
Level of interest (n = 174)
Easy
Interesting
Not very easy
Not very interesting
Don’t know
Don’t know
25
Table 22: What do you think a person who works in an ICT job does?
Response options
(n = 202)
%
1. They do graphic design, make websites and design
computer games
68
2. They design newer, better, faster computers, microchips
and mobiles
64
3. They write software, computer programs and apps
76
4. They are computer network managers and analysts and
they program computers
78
5. They design robots and computer systems to help
doctors
44
6. They manage big computer databases in businesses
71
7. They design things like automatic landing systems for
planes
40
©Karen Macpherson
26
Table 24: Responses to questions on perceptions of IT jobs
Would having a job in IT let you
think creatively?
193
Yes
%
80
Would working in IT be fun?
189
52
Would working in IT mean sitting at
a computer all day?
192
54
n
©Karen Macpherson
27
Fig 20
100%
"When I finish my education I want a job ..."
0
9
2
5
7
90%
34
31
80%
38
34
57
70%
Percentage
60%
50%
40
91
40%
67
30%
59
58
32
20%
27
10%
10
0%
That is interesting
That is well paid
That lets me be
creative
That will make a
difference to
people/help society
Where I can use IT,
science or maths
Where I don’t have to
use IT, science or
maths
Response options
Important
©Karen Macpherson
Moderately important
Not very important
28
What do you want to be when you grow up?
“I want to be Prime Minister of
a semi-artificial island I’m designing”
Year 7 boy
“I want to be a physicist because I enjoy physics and science,
or an architect because I enjoy being creative and I like design.”
Year 8 girl
“I like the idea of being a programmer or an investment banker
because I like selling things and coding.”
Year 9 boy
“Possibly a plumber. The work is interesting and it is generally well paid.”
Year 10 boy
“Either a music producer or an author, because I’m interested in it.”
Year 12 girl
©Karen Macpherson
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Table 26: Comparison High and Low ICSEA Years 7 and 8 - Careers
Low ICSEA Years 7 and 8
High ICSEA Years 7 and 8
I love animals, so I think I might want a career
in animal care.
Prim Minister of a semi-artificial island I'm
designing or programmer
Maybe a chef or an author of a bestseller, I
don't know
I want to be an architecture beuse I love
designing houses
Not really.
Doctor. I like the atmosphere in the hospital
.
I want to be something to do with horses or a
history teacher
no.
I would like to be a lawyer, it's fun arguing
with people.
Police women, lawyer, nurse because I think I
would enjoy it.
I want to be a defender of human rights
because everyone deserves a happy life :)
I would love to be a cheff or pe teacher
Scientist, programmer, author or Music
teacher
I would like to be in a job to do with sport
(eg: Sports statistician).
(Responses are not corrected for grammar or
spelling)
©Karen Macpherson
I would like to be a doctor when I grow up as
it will let me communicate with the society
and meet new people. However I wouldn’t
mind having a job in IT either.
30
SO WHAT?
How do these findings stack up with some commonly-held
assumptions about teenagers? Assumptions –
1.
They spend most of their time playing computer games
and going on Facebook.
Not so. Teenagers are much more rounded than
popular media would have us believe.
Evidence: interviews and “out-of-school” activities results
2.
Always on their mobiles.
Yes – but depends on age.
We need to distinguish between ICT and:
•communication uses - which increase with age are not gender-related;
•recreation uses, eg games- which decrease with age and are gender-related.
To teenagers, technology consumption is not worthy of remark. It is normal.
©Karen Macpherson
31
Summary - Findings
Assumptions, cont –
3. Teenagers are really confident with technology.
True.
4. Teenagers know much more about technology than adults
do.
Depends. Confidence is not the same as competence.
5. Teenagers generally think that ICT is “boring”.
Some do. But many are undecided. There is a range of
misperceptions about ICT as a subject at school; what
ICT jobs entail; and what careers are available. These
perceptions are correlated with age, gender, and ICSEA.
©Karen Macpherson
32
Implications
Important opportunities:
1.
Many students in early-mid high school are “undecided” about
whether they would like to study ICT.
2.
Many students are interested in “how computers work”.
3.
Most students want a career that is interesting, well paid, allows
creativity and “helps people”. “Enjoyment” and “interest” are
frequently used qualifiers when teenagers talk about both ICT, and
careers generally.
4.
Many students think studying ICT at uni would be interesting, but
not very easy (this is a classic example of a worthwhile and
achievable goal in “goal setting theory” - Locke).
©Karen Macpherson
33
Implications
Clear opportunities to engage students 1.
2.
3.
To challenge perceptions about IT as “boring”
To capitalise on existing interest and “undecided” group
To close the gap between “interested in computers” and “want to
study IT”
HOW? Emphasise fun, creativity, interest and challenge,
teamwork and involvement
4.
5.
To provide opportunities for students to find out more about the
range of work in ICT careers (creative and interesting)
To help them “join the dots” between what they want in careers
generally – interesting, well paid work that helps people, and what
ICT careers can offer
FOCUS: school years 7-9; and girls
©Karen Macpherson
34
Implications - summary
We need to 
Engage with students at the right age

Utilise their enthusiasm

Challenge their misperceptions

Help them “join the dots” between generalised career aspirations and what
ICT can offer
Important: where do students learn their attitudes to ICT?
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Parents
Educators
Significant others (older siblings, family friends etc)
Media (TV shows, internet, movies)
Professionals practicing in the field
5th group: structured learning opportunities through mentoring/work experience
with ICT professionals is very effective.
©Karen Macpherson
35
SOLUTIONS
33
IMMIGRATION
(import skills)
5. EDUCATION
(increase number of
skilled workers)
INNOVATION
4 4(change
way work is done)
1
How to generate more ICT graduates?
6
Increase ICT university
and other tertiary
enrolments/completions
7
Attract more students
PROBLEM
How?
How?
2 Australian labour force
14
Ensure high quality
informed teaching
13
Range of co-and
extra-curricula activities
to reward ICT interest
12
11
Design teaching curricula
to provide necessary
information to students
Capture student interest
at important stages
of their schooling
©Karen Macpherson
insufficient
to meet current and
projected ICT job demand
8
Increase demand
to study ICT
How?
10
RESEARCH –
Ask students:
What they like to use technology for
What subjects they like at school
What their perceptions are of ICT study
What they want in careers generally
Their perceptions of ICT careers specifically
9
Design initiatives to attract
more students into
studying in the field
How?
36
National interest
Government policy
Education sector
Industry and jobs;
Professional bodies
What does the evidence say?
The solution
Students
2. Initiatives:
Science leaders;
FIRST; Robocup
1. Consumption, perceptions
and aspirations
Parents
©Karen Macpherson
Teachers
37
The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh
– work experience for high school
students
©Karen Macpherson
38
Griffith University “spaghetti bridge”
Three day introduction to science and technology
For years 9/10
University of Canberra
WIL project – DEEWR funded
For undergraduates
©Karen Macpherson
39
ICT Experience Center, De Verdieping The Netherlands
©Karen Macpherson
40
University of Canberra INSPIRE Centre
new ways of working and learning digitally: preservice teachers
©Karen Macpherson
41
Australian Defence Force Defence Technical Scholarships
For years 11 and 12
©Karen Macpherson
42
Originated in Victoria; now licensed Australia-wide
©Karen Macpherson
43
Initiatives
Australian Academy of Science
suite of professional learning and
curriculum resources for teachers
©Karen Macpherson
44
Mechatronics
• Mechatronics is a relatively young engineering
discipline, which combines skills from mechanical,
electrical, computer and software engineering.
• Mechatronics studies systems that result from the
interconnection of sensors, computers, and force
actuators with components like robots, vehicles,
aircraft, structures, and circuits.
©Karen Macpherson
45
FIRST
Macquarie University – hosts annual
national competition – for school children and teens
©Karen Macpherson
46
Robocup
Main Objective: To encourage young people to take an interest in scientific
and technological fields, to cultivate their interest through robotic
competitions through hands on creation.
©Karen Macpherson
47
Conclusion:
Needs analysis
Where we
we are
Where
are
now
What do
do we
What
we
need to
to dodo
need
get there
totoget
there
Where we
Where
we
want to
to bebe
want

©Karen Macpherson
Relevant
Engaging
Challenging
Well taught
Well funded
Career paths
Remuneration
Job satisfaction
48
‘A mind is a terrible thing to waste’
Nobel Prize Laureate Prof Peter Doherty, University of Melbourne
©Karen Macpherson
49
Dr Karen Macpherson
Professional Associate
Faculty of Education, Science, Technology and Maths
University of Canberra, Australia
[email protected]
Report available at:
www.theeducationinstitute.edu.au/eduinstitute/n
ode/159
©Karen Macpherson
50
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3 3A Research - Association of Independent Schools of NSW