One thread that seemed woven into each of our discussions this term was the effect of media on children. Increasingly, I’ve found my mind wandering to this topic that until taking this class held no relevance for me. It is easy to sit on the know-it-all perch of “age, wisdom, and experience” that comes with being far removed from childhood to cast judgement on the next generation for their use of media (including language, fashion, and past times), but frowning upon the “kids these days” has never fostered progress. Seeking understanding has.
Kids these days devour technology. Their malleable brains can adapt to new media as fast as it becomes available. That’s not always a bad thing, but it isn’t all good either. They are growing up and learning in a world very different from those we adults knew as children. It’s a world we adults ushered into being and it’s not very easy to navigate. Instead of expecting kids to grow up just as we did, we have the opportunity to help them learn to wield today’s technological tools to their greatest benefit. In order to do that, it is essential to embrace the shades of gray and stop seeing the world in black-and-white terms. Posturing “new vs. old,” “digital vs. analog,” “good vs. bad” won’t move the conversation forward. As this USA Today article about teaching penmanship illustrates, it’s important to invite the kids to join in that conversation.
QUESTION: How has your perspective of “kids these days” changed (or become more persistent) over the course of this quarter? Is that showing up in your behavior in any way?