The adolescent I viewed was in a home setting at a personal computer. I observed that he was doing a homework assignment, however he also had multiple tabs open as well. Aside from the one tab designated to his homework, he also had a tab for Facebook, one for his music play list and the last was a website that listed streaming Japanese animations that are available for viewing. The adolescent also had music playing as he was on the computer (supposedly doing homework), he was chatting with someone on AIM and every once in a while he would answer texts on his phone as they were received. He frequently switched between tasks--from doing homework to changing his music selection and keeping up with his social lively social life and back to doing his homework again. I left the adolescent before he completed his homework but I would assume that he would eventually complete his assignment although his progress would be slow.
Based on what I observed from the adolescent there are many skills needed to be successful in this kind of technology. First and most important, any person who is using all these various technologies at the same time needs to be a multitasker. A person can be easily steered away from a task if they have multiple windows up. However, a person who is able to multitask in this manner must also then be able to prioritize. From what I observed from the adolescent was that although there were so many other distractions, he was still able to return to doing his homework. The adolescent also needs the ability to navigate through all of the web pages that is up, which in itself takes a lot of skill because each page has it's own set of information and data. For example, a person would need to know where to go to search for a certain Japanese anime that they would like to watch, or the kind of information they want to find out about a person on Facebook. Also in order to be successful in this kind of technology is to have it readily available for you to use and therefore be able to practice. Since the adolescent was using his own personal computer, I assumed that all the programs he was using was very familiar to him.
In order to continue his success in this current technology, he would continually need to visit the websites to see what is new and adapt to these new improvements. Websites change all the time and new features are added, such as adding the availability of a classroom discussion board or a new link in Facebook that can connect you to family members. Like most technology it is fluid and continually advancing and changing, therefore in order to continue to be successful with any technology is to become familiar with it by using it often.
When I look back on my observation I feel that adolescents in this generation are much more able to use technology better than I did at their age, or even at my age now. But at the same time, I become concerned about the amount of concentration that some students may have doing their homework online, there are so many other potential distractions that a student can easily deter for just a moment and hours later still have their homework to do. However, I find that there is great value in using technology as a learning tool because students can do their own research to find solutions to problems and in a sense become their own teachers. Plus technology gives us the ability to communicate with students outside of the classroom environment such as on a teacher website or a classroom discussion board that would allow students to ask questions. I know that I will use technology in my teaching, especially now after learning the new programs in class, however my only concern would be how my concentration would my students dedicate to my assignments which other distractions lurking. After learning about the kind of programs available for math teachers, it would help a lot in class by giving students a visual representation of math lessons and also keeps math somewhat exciting.