Do citizen scientists use different technologies depending on their age in CS activities?

by | Jan 16, 2023 | Graphical article, Internal Content, Participation & Motivation

  Reading Time: 2 minutes

Citizen science engages adults of all age groups. According to participants, which are technologies they use to participate in CS activities? What are the differences between different age groups and the technologies they use? 

From 12 different technologies, that were used in CS activities, there were differences between age groups in 7 of them (mobile apps, smartphone, social media, online and/or mobile games, online forums for discussions, website(s) and other).

Younger age groups seem to use more smartphones and mobile apps for CS activities, while the use of online forums for discussion increased with older groups.

An online survey carried out by the CS Track team found 12 different technologies that were used for CS activities by citizen scientists. The data from the survey shows some differences between age groups and what technologies they use, but the associations between age and technologies were weak.  Interestingly, the youngest age group used social media less in CS activities compared to older age groups. (More comparisons between age groups and technologies used below).

How to interpret this data?

Participants were grouped in four different age groups: 16-30 (n=124), 31-50 (n=386), 51-70 (n=429) and 70+ (n=144). The differences between age groups (in usage of technologies) were calculated using a chi-squared test. Understanding user and technology relations can be a valuable tool for ensuring that everyone is able to participate regardless of age or the technology they use.

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