Google’s Cr-48 Chrome Notebook pilot program generated a lot of buzz in the tech community when, late last year, laptops started appearing on people’s doorsteps–laptops with solid-state hard drives, no capslock keys, and built-in WiFi and 3G capabilities. The laptops were sent to people who, as Google put it, were “living on the web […] doing everything in the browser, from using web apps to storing all your files online.”
You can take their quiz to find out if you’re living on the web–but teens most definitely are. As adults, I think we get pretty settled into having our own computers at home, our own computers at work, and moving back and forth between them. But teens may be sharing a family computer at home, using computer labs at school, and doing homework and playing games on the computers at the library; they lead much more fluid technological lives with fewer fixed points. We need to be familiar with websites, apps, programs, and services that allow the user identical access from multiple devices–with things that keep their data in the cloud.