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Digital natives cannot climb trees but they can upload photos of them

Mar 6, 2012   //   by Catherine Sellars   //   Blog  //  No Comments

Today NPower revealed the results of their recent survey into the skills of Britain’s 5 to 13 year olds coming up with a top ten of things youngsters can and can’t do.

Top ten things children aged 5 to 13 can do:
1 Work a DVD player 67%
2 Log onto the internet 58%
3 Play computer games on games console (wii, Xbox or similar) 50%
4 Make a phone call 46%
5 Use a handheld games console (Nintendo DSi, PSP or similar) 45%
6 Use an iPhone (or smartphone) 42%
7 Work Sky Plus 41%
8 Send a text message 38%
9 Search for clips on YouTube 37%
10 Use an iPad (or tablet computer) 31%

Top ten things children aged 5 to 13 can’t do:
1 Recognise three types of butterfly 91%
2 Repair a puncture 87%
3 Tie a reef knot 83%
4 Read a map 81%
5 Build a camp fire 78% / Put up a tent 78.5%
6 Spot a blackbird, sparrow or robin 71%
7 Make papier mâché 72%
8 Make a cup of tea 65%
9 Build a den 63%
10 Climb a tree 59%

NPower are supporting an initiative to rekindle an adventurous spirit in children and get them playing outside, appreciating their environment with the Climate Cops SOS competition, giving enthusiastic young eco-warriors the chance to meet Ray Mears and win an outward bound course for their school or group. Entrants submit a short film showing their green project.

Getting the youngsters to submit a film is great as it makes good use of their media literacy and technical savvy but I think NPower are missing a trick. Their own survey reveals children’s ability to use mobile technologies, phones, tablets, hand held devices, texting etc. So why not use this in the competition? They ask that entries are burned on to dvd and posted! Why not have photos, podcasts and videos sent immediately and directly to a group or channel? Let the buzz build, generate more ideas and competition. Take full advantage of the skills the children do have, to get them enthused about the skills they lack.

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