Friday, September 28, 2012

So that's how my kid did that!

I can’t tell you how many times during an iPad training that I have heard a teacher say, “So that’s how my kid did that!”  Our digital native kids are not afraid to push buttons, to learn and explore on their own.  They also love to share how they did something or the newest game they have just mastered.  Have you ever heard, “Hey look at what I did”?

Their digital scrapbook starts before they were born, with their mothers placing their ultra-sound picture on Facebook.  Their pictures are plastered on sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Photobucket, and Flickr.  The videos of their first steps are uploaded to YouTube and they haven’t touched a computer yet.

The first thing my niece (3) and nephew (5) say to me is “Hi Aunt Cissie, where is your iPad?”  They love the games, the books, the songs, and the fact that they can control their own learning.  My nephew, who would rather be playing a hunting game, sat down with me the first week of summer after finishing an awesome year in Kindergarten to explore a math game.  Within ten minutes, he was adding 3 digit numbers.  Why? Because it was fun, gave him instant feedback and reward, and it was game-like.   Could he have figured it out on his own? Maybe, but what fun we had together learning the concept of carrying and borrowing!  Then he took off and was so excited to show his mom and dad. I told him I would get his mom to load the app on her iPad. Instead of the shout of joy I expected, I got a look of disappointment and these words, “I will have to start over on level one.”

So should we limit or monitor these digital natives exposure to technology?  I would say yes to both.  Limit in the sense that they need to be active and play outside!  Our children need to develop social skills, by playing and sharing with others.  Monitor? Of course, because with technology comes great responsibility.  We need to be aware of what our kids are doing while online.  That is one of the things that I love about letting my little ones use my iPad.  You see, my iPad has the Lightspeed Mobile filter on it.  So the same filtering that my school has on the school computers is on my iPad even though I am at home. I do not have to worry about them getting on the web and seeing things that their eyes shouldn’t see.  

Our digital native kids have such a head start on learning, exploring, creating, and collaborating!  There are so many apps that open the world to them.  It will be exciting to see all the things that they will add to their scrapbooks.

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