Stacked in Our Favor

Thoughts about libraries, education, children's literature, writing, art and being connected

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Digital Native Reality Check

Today I witnessed a scene which I will not find easy to forget. Three boys who looked to be around ten years old, exiting a digital art class exclaimed "Oh, since Internet Explorer 7 came out I can't get any of it to display correctly." The others chimed in about their thoughts regarding an array of software technicalities which I could just follow. Ten years old and talking like software designers in their twenties!

What does that say about what we must do to keep these boys engaged in the arena of mandatory education? They are already solving problems, using 21st Century Skills, applying what they learn to create products. When they are now asked to create power point slide shows of something they have already learned in class over the course of several years, how excited will they be? How excited would we be in the same set of circumstances?

I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking back on my youth and feeling that adding a bit of technology would make a project more interesting. Students today are more saavy than that. Dangling the opportunity to incorporate simple technology into their lessons is hardly that motivating to them. We really need to ramp it up a bit if we are to capture their interest.

Where I really see the role of the School Library Media Specialist really making an impact is in helping youth in putting the package together. Making sure that the medium is not stealing the spot light from the message.

Regardless, I feel new pressure to keep up with technology, to find new ways to harness not just the technology for the wow effect, but also as a seamless vessel for the message.

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