Coming soon to a classroom near you

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Coming soon. This little girl. And millions more like her. Curious. Smart. And not afraid of technology.

Let me rephrase that… Not only is she just “not afraid” of technology, she will expect to grow up in a world where technology comes in the form of easy-to-use devices that just work seamlessly to let her do things. She represents a generation of children for whom access to such technology is as basic as access to air, food and water. Look at her as she plays with this device… she didn’t read an instruction manual, she isn’t waiting for a training session in how to use it. As she grows up she won’t necessarily know or care how these things works, only that they lets her do the things she wants to do. She interacts with technology but probably doesn’t even think of it as interacting with technology.

When this little girl gets to school in just a few short years will she walk into a classroom where technology devices like this are an accepted tool in the learning process, or a classroom where they are banned? Will she be working in an environment where technologies are used as seamless and transparent tools for learning, or an environment where she has to go to the computer lab for her one hour of computers each week? Will her teachers start teaching her about technology by getting her to “do a PowerPoint” or type a letter using Word, or will they give her tasks that can be solved using collaborative communication technologies in innovative and creative ways. Will school for this little girl be an interesting and vibrant place which she is excited to attend, or will she become a student for whom school is a boring and unavoidable interruption to her day?

Perhaps the bigger question is, will you be excited or intimidated to have this little girl in your class? Because she is coming whether we are ready for her or not…

Thanks to Kim Cofino for twittering about this video.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Coming soon to a classroom near you by Chris Betcher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

5 Replies to “Coming soon to a classroom near you”

  1. I can argue these things until I’m blue, but since I’m a geek, everyone sees me as having a vested interest and I can’t get them to see we ALL have a vested interest.

    I’ll never be as persuasive as this two-year-old. Tough to argue about the need to change when you see her in action.

    Now, I can send people the URL to this post. They can watch her in action and then read your call to action. Thanks.

  2. Chris,

    “As she grows up she won’t necessarily know or care how these things work, only that they let her do the things she wants to do…”

    That part of the little girl is me, as I come late to the edublogosphere. I know what the mindset is in this area of my state, and I’m afraid limited technology integration is the rule rather than the exception.

    If this little girl came to my school, she would be taught by dedicated, caring teachers who, for the most part, are either unaware of the benefits/necessity of embedded technology or so stressed by mandated testing that they have neither time nor desire to expand their horizons. Without encouragement from their administrators, the teachers, and by extension the students, remain imprisoned in the 20th century.

    I want more for my students; I most definitely want more for any future grandchildren I might have.

    We need some sort of national technology agenda, and we need it now.


  3. That is a sweet video to watch, no doubt about it. My take on it is that the young person is very smart and also well coached. She is also privileged to have the access she has to the technology she is using. My guess (and experience in a public school system) is that most of the world has significantly less. Who will we be teaching?

  4. Makes we want to have an iPhone even more!

    As I introduce a new tool to my class I always make sure they have time to play! Every time I do this they have taught me something new before I even start the lesson!

    Case in point- A couple of years ago I was showing some eight year olds how to ‘right mouse’ to save a picture from the internet. One little cherub then piped up, “Why don’t you just drag it onto the desktop?”

    Good question????

  5. “As she grows up she won’t necessarily know or care how these things work”

    I think this is a critical statement – we are getting to a point where technology is becoming so easy that there is a significant gap between proficiency and understanding.

    This video certainly points at a need for technology accessibility, but I think just using technology isn’t necessarily a victory.

    Programs where technology is directly leveraged to enhance education are the real need. A lack of understanding about how these tools work is a problem. There are great ways to get both technology use and education happening and complementing each other, like a program going on for high schoolers in Denver to teach kids how to design and develop video games.

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