Toxic Childhood or Digital Deportee

Mike Fitzsimon has brought me back into the conversation about raising children. To be honest, after hearing about the keynote at TechEd about Digital Immigrants vs. Digital Natives I’m rethinking my stance.

Could it be that the lives of our children are going to be so radically different to our own that they upbringing almost by design has to be something that challenges us as a pre-2000 generation?

I’m not drawing any conclusions yet, but I have been doing some reading:

Aside: When I was going through high school I was one of the few students who had access to the Internet early on. I accessed it through a sub 9600bps modem, via a terminal emulator, generally navigated around using Gopher and found files using Archie and Veronica.

When I submitted assignments I had great difficulty in referencing materials from the Internet because all of the bibliographical standards were targetted at hard copies. In fact – some teachers refused to accept assignments that were primarily researched on the Internet.

Even then I thought that those teachers were blinded by their own personal experiences. The fact is that resources like Wikipedia are capturing our history.

Question: Will those that can’t adjust to the new world be digital deportees?


9 thoughts on “Toxic Childhood or Digital Deportee

  1. Adam Clark

    Yes they will be, All you have to do is look at your parents, A lot of the time we explain very simple technology concepts to them and it goes stright over their heads…

  2. Mitch Denny Post author

    Hi Ian,

    Thanks for the link. I’ve downloaded the PDF, it should make some good airplane reading.

  3. murls

    I just gave son an old Palm 100 I had laying around for his birthday today. He immediatley created a todo list, added his friends to contacts and refused any assistance from me when he got stuck. He knows how to pull apart a computer and identify all the components inside. He chats to family and friends on Messenger and doesnt remember life without a 1.5mb connection to the internet.

    He understands how the home network operates. He was banned from Runescape for somehow stealing someone elses password. He knows the difference between a procedure and a function. He wants to be a games programmer.

    He turned 9 years old today. Food for thought hey? Where will Bella be shortly? πŸ™‚

    ps He also wants to be one of those guys that wrecks cars with huge metal balls. Kids are cool!

  4. Mitch Denny Post author

    Hi Brendan,

    It was my birthday today as well – where is my Palm? πŸ˜› Bella is already using the Tablet PC pretty effectively – and I notice she is learning to navigate menus, even though she can’t really read them.

    It is very interesting to watch. Every generation is an experiment.

  5. Pingback: The Singularity « notgartner

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