Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Way It Is

The World We Live In

This photo was taken at a roller skating rink in Northampton, Massachusetts. Over break, we ventured to western Massachusetts to visit my wife's family. My older daughters were skating with their cousin while their younger sister found a vacant bench to catch up on some light reading. My youngest grabbed someone's iPhone and started to surf some games, videos or photos. Without any assistance from adults, my youngest navigated through the various content she wanted to access.

Being the parent of three daughters, I am constantly reminded of how different it is and will be for them growing up. Having spent the past week off from work, it is apparent that my kids are at ease embracing the digital world. Whether it is accessing information or content via a handheld device, iPad or personal computer, my kids are comfortable working through potential obstacles. Observing us trying to complete a math worksheet for homework might yield a different picture as the frustration can mount. However, the comfort and ease at which they navigate the digital world is a far cry from more traditional modes of dissemination.

Parents and educators need to nurture a familiarity with the digital world. Above all, kids need to harness the powers of the digital world in ethical and responsible ways. Imbued with an ethical understanding students need to produce, in the public domain, information. At this juncture my kids are consumers, but as they grow and mature, the hope is that they will produce relevant information and develop content that others can use.