Kids Innovation Study Results, Part 2: Creation, Design & Digital OptimismBy Kim Gaskins July 8, 2010
This is part 2 of the study results discussion.
- Part 1: “Kids Innovation Study Results, Part 1: Web in the Physical World.”
Download a 3-page PDF summary of study results.
Yesterday, we posted part 1 of the findings for “Children’s Future Requests for Computers and the Internet,” an open innovation study by Latitude and ReadWriteWeb asking children (aged 12 and under) to illustrate their ideas for new Web and computer technologies.
In our previous post, we looked at the study findings from an interaction angle. We discussed how younger generations expect to have increasingly more intuitive interactions with technology—and, not just localized to swiping and tapping an iPad, but really moving things out in the world of physical activity and objects. This represents “a shift from smartphones that can go anywhere to The Internet of Things which is everywhere,” explained Jessica Reinis, the analyst who headed up the study.
Today’s post will focus on a few other themes that stood out in the kids’ “future requests” for technology and why we think they’re worth acknowledging in the big picture.
Confidence Through Creation and Creativity
Study participant, Dylan (Age 6), killing time on his visit to Latitude HQ.
“I’d like to paint and draw right on the computer screen and have it show up.” — Abby*, Age 8
“I’d like to make up my own video game.” — Zack, Age 8
“I’d like computer games to learn about fashion designing.” — Klara*, Age 11
Per usual, MIT’s Media Lab is doing great things: this time, they’re providing the tech infrastructure to help kids create. They devised a simple language called Scratch that kids (aged 8 and older) can use to make interactive animations, annotated stories, games, music and art. Through an external sensor kit, media created using Scratch can interact with everyday objects such as pencils or water. This study suggests there’s more opportunities to build and extend environments like Scratch (especially ones that are conversant with the physical world) as children’s offerings. (And, of course, when given these types of generative tools for ideation purposes, kids can contribute real value to innovation processes.)
Selection of themes coded in children’s drawings (n=126)
The Social World is Growing and Shrinking?
“I want to video kids on the other side of the world using a different kind of language.” — Emma, Age 7
“Continuous connectivity to people and information via the Web is the norm for many kids today, and it seems to be making them feel more capable and independent—making life opportunities feel closer at hand,” explains Reinis. They can look up any piece of information on Wikipedia in real-time, they can self-learn with sophisticated, interactive games, and they can even video-chat international language partners on Skype for free—and many of them want to do these things.
“We see this drive to experience the world at large and the drive to express oneself in it as symptoms of a much larger phenomenon—a special brand of confidence—which we’re calling ‘digital optimism,’” she adds. For kids today, the world, ironically, feels smaller and more accessible—just as their awareness of its size, diversity, and possibility is increasing.
*Some names have been changed to protect the participants’ privacy. In select cases, participant drawings may be modified solely for the purposes of removing identifying information (e.g. the participant’s name).
This entry has been cross-posted to ReadWriteWeb.
Latitude is an international research consultancy exploring how new information and communications technologies can enhance human experiences. Latitude’s user-centered research approach unites generative, media-based methods with robust quantitative analysis to identify concrete opportunities for Web-based innovation. “Children’s ‘Future Requests’ for Computers and the Internet” is one installment of Latitude 42s, an ongoing series of open innovation research studies which Latitude publishes in the spirit of knowledge-sharing and opportunity discovery. For more information on this study and its applications to your business, email Neela Sakaria.
Header image courtesy of aperturismo’s flickr, (cc) some rights reserved.