SOL (2016) 10: Kids These days……aka My Technology Bias (inspired by @chrkennedy)
Chris Kennedys recent blog about “His Anti-Technology Bias” https://cultureofyes.ca/2016/08/24/my-anti-technology-bias/ – and his tongue-in-cheek blog led me to think about how life today has changed since my own youth….because change is sometimes uncomfortable:
Kids are too busy playing video games (as opposed to my youth playing Atari (Pac-man themed birthday party) and on my Apple IIe (Carmen SanDiego, Lemonade stand, football among others). Ok maybe they’re playing video games whose graphics I’m jealous of.
Kids are too busy chasing Pokemon with that danged app – not chasing each other as we did when I was a kid (admittedly it usually ended up in someone having a fight with someone else – but I’m sure that was unique to my neighbourhood/community) and they help each other locate specific Pokemon- where’s their sense of competition ….helping each other? Crazy.
Kids today aren’t engaged enough at school (sure I may have transformed my grooved wooden ruler and pen into a space odyssey rivalling Spaceman Spiff but….it was different…..right?) and memorization based activities aren’t appreciated enough…
Kids today are too sensitive (and have more empathy since they are more aware of how slurs and ‘good natured jokes and teasing’ really aren’t helping anyone) and have more of a global awareness than I ever did (Cold War politics?)
Kids today don’t appreciate how expensive information used to be. To find the answer to a question posed late at night (trying to remember lyrics/name of a band around a campfire for example) only having limited access to dated encyclopedias (with a lot of mis-information – eg tastebuds) and instead having (perhaps too much) information a few clicks-on-a-screen away.
Kids struggle with the rigor of the “work” part of schoolwork (because we never copied answers to static questions or or “shared strategies” [aka cheating] on how to get a higher score on a one-size-fits-all assessment which only benefitted those of us with good short-term memory skills or verbose writing abilities) unless the activity is meaningful, then my kids won’t even let me do some of their work for them!
Even the skill of handwriting (which I never mastered – probably because while I hold a pen perfectly in my left hand, an atrocious grip of my right hand is what dominates the page) is going. Sure their are arguments about the value of writing things down over typing….it only works when “unique fonts” are readable by others. And voice-to-text or typing….is the skill/art of writing legibly as valuable as the quality of what is being shared?
Technology provides our learners with the best differentiation tool that has ever disrupted the education system (helped by the framework: don’t challenge learners with questions that can be answered in a single Google search) enabling students who struggle with written output to instead create an application for entry into a specialized learning program via minecraft. Admittedly tech can also distract….which is why I also use the query (at home and in school) tool or toy – tools help the learning, toys distract…..or reset the learner (sometimes tricky to tell them apart!)
I believe technology is a tool that can keep students connected and motivated while at school, because it can no longer be acceptable to have cohorts of 100 enter school but only 50 of them graduate….the “good old days”……?……weren’t.