The New York Times reviewed a book relevant to discussions I have on a daily basis:
"Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World" by Don Tapscott.
My discussions center around computer use for my own kids and for kids in general. I have some friends that believe that kids should "stay away" from technology, as if the computer itself is a bad influence on their kids.
But in my own experience it seems my children view computer use as a window into knowledge, experiences and for homework support when needed. We don't have a family computer yet (they use my and my husband's laptops) but I have finally decided that a computer is a tool they "need" – so I am looking into getting one. My older son does not like to hand write essays, but when he uses a computer to type he can write endlessly. He wants to start writing music so we are looking into software for that. Although I call myself a techie, watching him use the computer teaches me a few things. My Kindergarten age twins feel it is a treat to go on PBS.org and enjoy playing their learning games, even asking me to print out the "printables" after they go online.
- They prize freedom
- They want to customize things
- They enjoy collaboration
- They scrutinize everything
- They insist on integrity in institutions and corporations
- they want to have fun even at work
- They believe that spend in technology and all else is normal
- They regard constant innovation as a fact of life
Watching my fourth grader use a computer has confirmed these norms, the computer is one of the things he uses to explore himself and the world. Every child needs to learn limits on computer use just as they learn about healthy eating or other life skills.
But in my son's future, computer knowledge will be one of the most important life skills…