Stranger Things 2. Am I going to watch it? Absolutely. I grew up going to the arcade just like in the start of season 2. I remember rummaging through the house for loose change then riding my bike downtown to join my friends at the arcade. It seems just like yesterday; yet, today is my 41st birthday. That's right, I was born on Halloween. so as you can imagine, this time of year is my favorite. The arcade is mostly a thing of the past; kids are now entertained by Netflix, iTunes Music, YouTube. None of these things were around when I celebrated my Halloween birthday growing up. So, I've decided to discuss digital citizenship this week for my blog.
I remember the first time I got a Nintendo. It was a different world. No longer did we spend all of the change we had on games here and there. We spent money on renting games - then playing as many times as possible before returning them. Consumption was increasing at a rapid rate. I was home more, but not engaged with family. In retrospect, I think this was a defining moment. We still went out and played basketball for hours, so physical play was a large section of our day after school and in the summer.
Being Introduced To Technology
I really didn't engage with computers until joining the military when I was 18. Growing up in a rural town and a small district, opportunities with personal computing at the time was scarce. It was also 1995, a time when the PC involved a large desktop and the price was still high.
Satya Nadella in his new book Hit Refresh outlines the three runtimes we have had in society today:
So the experience I would have had even exposed would have been primarily in the beginning of the first runtime. It was later that Al Gore created the Internet for all of society (cough cough) Just a joke....
If you believe that, I have some ocean front property in Arizona I can sell you.
Since then, I have adopted technology as it has been introduced to me. I have had every iPhone up until the iPhone 7 Plus. Recently I moved over to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 as my primary mobile device as told in this blog.
I have seen what artificial intelligence, machine learning, and augmented/virtual reality can do. Kids today are exposed to these technologies at an amazing rate. That presents opportunities and challenges. On one side you see kids gain experiences outside of the classroom that could have never been done before. However, you can also see how engagement in these without guiding purpose and practice can negatively impact learning. As a parent of three teenage girls, I understand this opportunity and challenge every day. Now I want to give a picture to what my kids have experienced and what they expect.
What it has been like for my kids....
As much as I would like to discuss them all together, it is really a different experience between them. The wave of social media powered by access through mobile technology has touched each of them in a slightly different time in their life. This has caused challenges in trying to present a fair access and scaffolding model to introduce and expose my kids to these tools in an appropriate way. Here is each of them sharing what platforms they use:
First here is Bailey:
As you can see she mostly uses Instagram and Facebook for social media. For conversation, she uses Instagram Direct Messages and iMessage. Next we will hear from Aiyana. Each one of my kids are different. Aiyana is no exception to different. Please excuse her eating habits during the creation of this video.
As you can imagine, things begin to get different with our oldest, Emily. She is 19, going to college, and gaining independence from us. We begin to choose the platform that she most engages in. I think this becomes a pivotal point. Social media changes frequently, and companies come and go. What happens if the platform is different between each of them? How or can we capture those moments we want most?
Something to think about. As I have read the book Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella, I have thought about what this means not only for my kids but my grandkids. This quote from the book identifies one of the challenges we face particularly when it comes to learning. It is exciting if you approach it purposefully.
I am old but not that old....Yet.
So what about my kid's kids? What opportunities and challenges will technology bring to them? One of the particularly interesting segments from the Hit Refresh book was how industry adopts new technologies at a higher rate when it involves our comfort. Look at Netflix. The ability to binge watch without leaving your couch. Look at Uber. This is one area that I think will be disrupted by technology. Self driving cars are real. They are coming, and because of our desire to be engage with technology and the comfort of not being behind the wheel means transportation with a different experience. This could effect airline travel. Think about it, what if you could just sleep and/or watch a movie while a self driving vehicle takes you to your destination? It is closer than you think. The areas I feel like will rapidly effect my grandkids will be artificial intelligence. Their access to digital companions will change how they interact with each other, meetings, day to day work in learning and in the workplace, and just about any place they have connectivity. That connectivity increases every day. These can all be seen as opportunities and challenges depending upon how you look at it. As educators it will be important for us to focus on skill development that focuses on critical thinking so that opportunities continue for generations to come.