Though not explicitly meant for education and educators, I always find Mary Meeker’s annual research on Internet trends to be an eye opener that has important information and implications for those of us thinking about the K-12 world of learning. While I urge you to click through all 197 slides, let me just note a couple of things that jumped out at me. Random, I know…
1. The percentage of time we spend on “vertical viewing” (primarily on our phones) is up to 29% as opposed to just 5% five years ago. We’re definitely moving to mobile, and our content is going to have to adjust.
2. User generated live streaming and gaming is growing 122% year to year. In other words, YouTube is moving to “NowTube.” (Oh joy!)
3. Four years worth of new reading material is posted by Wattpad authors every single day. And lots of those writers and readers are kids.
4. User-generated reviews and feedback are growing by 140% year over year. Future reputations will be built (or lost) by users, perhaps more than credentials or other traditional indicators of expertise.
5. Youth are driving the explosion of multimedia content shared on the Internet. That’s why among 12-24 year olds, Facebook is tanking while Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) and Snapchat are growing.
6. 87% of millennials say “My smartphone never leaves my side, day or night.” Now read that again.
7. 76% of millennials use their smartphones to post content to the Web.
8. Commercial drones are being used more widely than most people realize.
9. “Globalization/Structural Changes + Mobile Connectivity + Generational Shifts = Changing Ways Many People Work”
10. The percentage of employers offering retirement and health care programs is declining steadily.
11. 44% of millennials (21-32) are classified as “on demand” workers or freelancers, and that number is expected to increase moving forward. Now read that again.
12. Millennials are perceived to be (much) more narcissistic, open to change, creative, money driven, adaptable, and entrepreneurial but also less confident and team-oriented.
13. The most important thing to millennials is meaningful work, followed by money.
14. In total, 34% of the US workforce is now classified as “freelancers.” That number is growing quickly.
So, yeah…some of this probably suggests that our curriculum and practice is just a bit out of date, no?