Children Worldwide Predict Future of Technology

“Children’s Future Requests for Computers and the Internet,” a new study from research firm Latitude, asked children around the world to draw the answer to a key question: What would you like your computer or the Internet to do that it can’t do right now? Parents were also asked how their children use technology and the Internet. Overall, whether the activity was practical, such as focusing on homework help, or focused on entertaining, e.g., online gaming, children want “technologies that seamlessly meld online and offline experiences.”

The survey authors found three recurring themes from the children:

  1. The Digital vs. Physical Divide is Disappearing.
  2. Why Aren’t Computers More Human?
  3. Technology Can Improve and Empower Us.

From these themes the report presents three recommendations for content and technology developers.

  1. Don’t think robots are just for schools. The majority of kids (77 percent) imagined future technologies with human-level responsiveness, often in the form of robots or virtual companions‚
  2. Bring “grown up” skills within reach. One-third of participants invented technologies that would empower users by fostering knowledge or otherwise “adult” skills, such as playing a musical instrument, making Web sites, or learning how to cook.
  3. Offer games and entertainment with real-world outcomes. Kids expect their online activities to have real-world impact, and vice versa.

“This study is part of our larger research initiative that gives children a real voice in the broader, often very adult, discussion of future technologies,” said Steve Mushkin, founder and president of Latitude. “Across a variety of creative exercises, kids from all over the world have proven, time and again, that they think in extraordinarily sophisticated ways about how tech could enhance their learning, play, and interactions with the people and things around them‚ and the ways that technology might help us solve the big global problems we all face.”

More information

“Children’s Future Requests for Computers and the Internet”

“Study: Kids Say the Future of Tech is Robots & Real-World Integration”

“Kids predict the future of technology”
eSchool News

“Latitude Study Finds Kids Can Predict the Future of Technology”

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July 2011


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