Interview with Tween

 Tween interview from a 13 year old boy – Andrew D.

 1.)  How does technology affect your daily life?

I use an iphone everyday to call my friends.  Why an iphone?  I got it for Christmas; my mom won’t let me use her phone.  She gets mad when I use her phone.  When I got my phone it took me 5 hours to remember and use my password right.  My mom was pissed.  Now I’m good with it.  I have some apps.  I want to get more.

My impression was that his iphone was “everything”.  Doesn’t see it as a connection or a communication tool.  Just thinks that everyone has one.  Glad he has an iphone, thinks that is the best.  Mom has rules about it using it.  If he uses during school and gets caught, the school will take it away.  Mom has made it clear she will be very upset.  Thus he follows her rules to a T. 

2.)  How do you use technology to help you learn?

I use my laptop a lot.  What sites do I use?  I don’t know, whatever pops up.  Like???? I guess I use Wikipedia a lot.  I don’t really care.  Whatever looks good.

Never really gave much though to how technology helps him learn. He is not concerned about the content of the sites or sources that he uses.  Not concerned about false information.  

3.)  What do you think technology means?

I don’t know anything electronic maybe?

It seems to me that he really hadn’t thought about technology and what it really was.  He seems to take technology for granted.  Just thought we always had it, can’t really think about being without.

 4.)  What would you like to see your teachers do with technology to help you learn better or more effectively?

I don’t know.  Just maybe use it more.  Maybe more time in the computer room.  Let us go on the internet more. 

Not is aware of what is available to his teachers, not sure how it would be used in the classroom

5.) How can you help your teacher to better use technology in the classroom?

I don’t know.  Maybe using the Smartboard more.  Let us kids use it.  We can’t touch it (the stylus/pen).  I would like to do that.

He would like some more hands on activities with computers.  He says there are not allowed to be creative even when there is a project.   When doing a project they have strict guidelines.  He mentioned that one time he and his friends wanted to make a video and have it part of the project, (acting out the Revolutionary War).  They were working in groups and he was working with two other boys and thought they could do their own reenactment and use it like a YouTube video.  The teacher said “no”.  They had to include a timeline, text and it sounded like other items that would be used in a book report format.

6.) What frustrates you most about the technology in your school?  

We don’t get enough time on the computers.  We always have to use Mavis Beacon.  Then we get to go on some games.  They’re old (the games).  We never get to use the internet unless it is for a project.  Even then we sometimes have to work in groups and take turns.  Sometimes the computers don’t even work.  (Meaning the internet.)

 7.)  What do you think about the adults around you (parents, teachers, others) and their use of technology?

I don’t know.  My mom, she doesn’t let me use her laptop or her phone.  That is why she got me my own.  That is okay, I only use it to keep in touch with my friends.  As for my teachers, I don’t know, maybe they could learn more, use it more.

His mom is the main focus about the use of technology.  She is the one that has got him the iphone and set the rules for it.  It is always the first thing she takes away when he is being punished.

As for the laptop, he hasn’t made the connection that maybe downloading from certain music sites or other sites might be the culprit for the crashing.  For this reason he has his own laptop.  His mother doesn’t allow him on her laptop. He also doesn’t make the connection about opening up unknown sites.  Not really concerned about safety or privacy issues.

Not really concerned about teachers or other adults and their connection with technology. 

My impression is that a 13 year old boy was probably not the best subject.  He doesn’t have much of a vision beyond his friends or school.  Mom has a strong influence, this is good because he does have some restrictions and must abide by them.  Maybe he was abit immature for this type of  reflective questioning?  Maybe someone who is older (15+) and has had more experience outside of a restricted bubble would have been more insightful.

4 thoughts on “Interview with Tween

  1. The remarks you made about Andrew’s unawareness of internet safety were interesting, and a good point. If there’s one thing that I think that schools should teach kids about computers, it’s about being secure when online. As it stands, kids either need to have tech savvy parents (more and more common these days), or they have to learn it the hard way.

  2. Hey Lynn,
    Great reflection 🙂 My teenager had some of the same responses. I did interview a 16 year old and she did seem to have some deeper insights. When I asked her what she thought technology was she had to pause and think about it, saying it had always just been there. This just blows me away, the fact that they see these technologies as just always being there and just being a part of life. You mentioned how your teenager just thought that everyone had an iphone. I think the role of his mother is interesting also; and maybe just parents in general as far as technology goes. Sounds like she didn’t want him using hers so got him his own phone and laptop. I teach 7th grade, so I also hear this a lot from students. Can’t imagine the money that parents dish out too because all I hear it seems is how easily they lose their phones or break them or are just careless with them. They do take these technologies for granted, you’re right. 🙂

  3. It’s a good interview – it highlights the attitude of youth toward technology which is almost sort of apathetic. It’s there, it’s part of their lives, so whatever. They’re not awed by it, they’re not shocked by it. I still marvel at how a screen can function at the touch of a finger – to them, it is common place and boring.

    Furthermore, the level of technology in schools is pretty poor and they know it. They realize the computers they use are relics, leftovers from a local business donated when that business upgraded. The programs are pretty boring too. Typing? Come on.

    Good interview and analysis of it!

    -Matt

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