Publication Details

Johnson, N. F.. (2009). The Teenage Expertise Network: The online availability of expertise. International Journal of Learning, 16 (5), 211-220.


Young people of the 21st century are, like no other generation before, immersed in a technologicallyrich environment. It is not surprising then that these young people have developed a wealthof expertise in the use of digital technologies. Whilst this is the case, understandings of how theseyoung people have gained this expertise in these contemporary techno-cultural contexts is limited. Thedesign of the Teenage Expertise Network (TEN) follows principles of ethnographic research adaptedto an online environment. The small sample of teenaged technological experts in this study claimed that technological like "expert-like" practices have been shaped and brought about via informal (and someformal) modes of education. Expertise is assumed to be gained by countless hours spent accruingknowledge of the field, and while it is, it remains something not only gained by professionals who havedegrees. 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 employparticular dispositions in ones practice, but utilise various strategies and tactics when going aboutlearning new knowledge.

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