iSchool's Jessica Vitak Earns a Tier 1 Grant to Study Teens and Technology Use

iSchool's Jessica Vitak Earns a Tier 1 Grant to Study Teens and Technology Use

We are proud to announce that Jessica Vitak won a Tier I Grant for her work entitled Tracking Teenagers' Evolving Technology Use During High School: Optimizing the Balance between Information Privacy and Disclosure across Rapidly Evolving Norms.
 
About the study: Teenagers are among the heaviest users of communication technologies. Importantly, these digital natives often become immersed in a mediated lifestyle long before they begin thinking or learning about the consequences of their disclosures. They are often given a device like a smartphone, tablet, or laptop with little to no training on basic digital literacy skills, including how to safely use these technologies and protect their personal data, as well as determining what is acceptable—and unacceptable—sharing within their network. To better understand how teens’ normative practices around digital privacy and disclosure emerge and evolve throughout adolescence, this project will collect longitudinal data from students and parents at two Baltimore-area high schools through surveys and focus groups. Findings from this project will be used to develop ground truth for an extensive, longitudinal study of teenagers’ technology use, information disclosures, and privacy protection strategies. Data collection and analysis will focus on expanding our understanding of key tenets of communication privacy management theory to mediated settings and will provide first steps to developing new resources for parents, teens, and educators to increase digital literacy and prepare young people to navigate new technologies safely and securely.