It was only at University that I started using a Personal Computer. The first Mac Computer is now a Museum piece! My kids regularly search for Minecraft and Lego ideas on YouTube, Skype with friends on different parts of the globe and use the computer for different assignments. Their gadgets are both a source of learning, entertainment and communication. When I was their age, I was calling up my friend on the land line phone to ask about Maths. The boundaries certainly have changed. The challenge, as parents and educators, is to consider how we can facilitate this change for this digital generation.
I have a written a few posts on the need to keep kids safe online. Another area to consider is are children and teens able to switch their minds off from whatever they are doing online; social media, games etc back to their work when they need to? While doing a research online it can be tempting for a child to reply to a message alert. It is after all takes less than a minute.
Interestingly, research points out that the brain is not able to multi-task in this manner. It is not a matter of time spent but the inefficiency of doing two tasks which makes one less productive.
I summarised the above article at the Learning Lab. It was well taken by my kids. We had a discussion on it. I admitted to them that I too had to cease trying to read tweets while while cooking dinner or thinking about a blog post during a lesson. It just overworks the brain! Part of raising digital natives is being role models of good users of technology. I am still figuring my way through this. What about you?