A Revolution Is Upon Us

This from a CNN article titled, “Is the Internet hurting children?” by Chelsea Clinton and James P. Steyer, Special to CNN.

Howard Gardner, a professor and researcher at the Harvard Graduate School of Education who developed the concept of multiple intelligences, calls kids’ use of digital media and technology “epochal change.” He compares the revolution in digital media to the invention of the printing press because of its extraordinary impact on the way we communicate, share information and interact with one another. As a society, we have no choice but to engage with this new reality and work to ensure that it affects our kids in healthy, responsible ways.

I absolutely agree with this notion that we are passing through a threshold of societal change, and it’s the kids who are the pioneers. We are passing from one era to the next, and we are all pretty clueless about the ramifications. Click here to read the article for yourself. It is brief but well-written.

This comment left by ellenkim seems very typical and telling: “Well, we can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube of course. But I have to say, as a parent of a 14 yr. old, the hardest part about helping them learn to manage themselves and their computer use is that it is much more accessible and private than driving a car or watching t.v., or even making out in the basement (the former teen attractions).  He has little power to resist, and because of that, we regulate time spent and monitor usage as best we can. And even though he has a computer in his room now (which he built himself because we wouldn’t buy him one), he isn’t allowed to just hole up with it with his door closed. He has a smart phone which is pretty easy to regulate since he can only go online on wifi.  But this age is really hard.  We are trying to allow him to move toward more independence and self monitoring but the internet and the immediate gratification of the games are more than he is ready to manage alone…And yes, I have seen some short term effects that I call “video head”.  He’s just less “present” after he’s been on the computer for any period of time. How this will play out in the long term is unknown.  I don’t know if legislation is called for, but I know I need some help and guidance.”

Even MIT and Harvard are struggling with what to do with all this technology.  It seems that nobody has a firm grasp.

“At the recent news conference announcing edX, a $60 million Harvard-MIT partnership in online education, university leaders spoke of reaching millions of new students in India, China and around the globe. They talked of the “revolutionary” potential of online learning, hailing it as the “single biggest change in education since the printing press.” Heady talk indeed, but they are right. The nation, and the world, are in the early stages of a historic transformation in how students learn, teachers teach, and schools and school systems are organized.”

Author: Andy Kerckhoff

I'm a husband, father, teacher. I'm doing my best, wishing I could do better, and trying to help others to effectively lead kids through early adolescence.

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