The Teenage Expertise Network: The Online Availability of Expertise

By Nicola F. Johnson.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Young people of the 21st century are, like no other generation before, immersed in a technologically rich environment. It is not surprising then that these young people have developed a wealth of expertise in the use of digital technologies. Whilst this is the case, understandings of how these young people have gained this expertise in these contemporary techno-cultural contexts is limited. The design of the Teenage Expertise Network (TEN) follows principles of ethnographic research adapted to an online environment.
The small sample of teenaged technological experts in this study claimed that technological ‘expert-like’ practices have been shaped and brought about via informal (and some formal) modes of education. Expertise is assumed to be gained by countless hours spent accruing knowledge of the field, and while it is, it remains something not only gained by professionals who have degrees. In the technological field, those who are experts are those tuned in to the fluidity of knowledge. This study suggests that when one looks to become a technological expert, one needs to not only employ particular dispositions in one’s practice, but utilise various strategies and tactics when going about learning new knowledge.

Keywords: Teenagers, Expertise, Technology, Sociology, Certeau, Strategies, Tactics

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp.211-220. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.220MB).

Dr. Nicola F. Johnson

Lecturer in Curriculum and Teacher Education, Faculty of Education, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Dr. Nicola Johnson is currently a lecturer in curriculum and teacher education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Wollongong. As a schoolteacher in New Zealand, Nicola was interested in how computers could be utilised within classrooms. Now her focuses are more on the effect of new learning spaces on the traditional delivery of learning and teaching in classrooms, the nexus between informal learning and formal learning, and sociocultural perspectives of technological expertise. This forms the basis of the construction of the Teenage Expertise Network (TEN).

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