Gifted youth use digital media for entertainment, informational, and creative experiences.  These are the conclusions of a CcaM / YoungWorks research collaboration, recently released in a new white paper. 

Beyond entertainment, results of this study showed that, creatively, gifted youth turned to digital media to exercise their media maker skills.  This includes writing blogs, designing and editing photos, and creating online videos.  Gifted youth also see the informational potential of digital media.  Acting as “online explorers”, gifted youth use digital media to find inspiring and stimulating information.  

The study also showed that gifted youth use social media to connect with peers and alter their (online) image as a way to deal with the sometimes frustrating label of being “gifted”.  In particular, gifted youth indicated that they sometimes feel different because of their giftedness, and although they are positive about the notion of connecting with like-minded peers through social media, they do not typically seek this form of contact online.  This is an interesting area for further study. 

To date, there are nearly no studies on how gifted youth may approach and use digital media.  This exploratory research, conducted with two focus groups of gifted children aged 11-14, was designed to provide initial information about this topic.  Based on this research, CcaM and YoungWorks will be conducting a larger survey to better understand the role of individual differences in gifted youths’ experience with digital media as well as to understand how digital media can support the cognitive, emotional, and social needs of these youth.    

The research is a collaboration between CcaM researchers Dr. Sindy Sumter and Dr. Jessica Piotrowski and YoungWorks researchers Rutger van der Berg and Yvonne van Sark

Click here to read the whitepaper: “Hoogbegaafden & Digital Media: Kansen op Cognitief & Sociaal-Emotioneel Niveau” (in Dutch).  The whitepaper includes insights from these focus group as well as practical tips for parents and educators of gifted youth.

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