Time Magazine: are kids too wired for their own good?
Posted by Bill in Educational Tech on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 (8 years ago) Permalink
Great article in Time magazine (March 27 2006) about how media-saturated kids might not be such a good thing….
...as an instructional technology guy, I often wonder, how much is too much? I see a place for technology in kids lives, and I also see the value of curling up with a good book. The article, written by Wendy Cole, Sonja Steptoe, and Sarah Sturmon, is full of great quotes and observations. some of my favorites:
“Decades of research ...indicate that the quality of one’s output and depth of thought deteriorate as one attends to ever more tasks…” - In other words, we do better when we focus on one thing. But in todays world, how often do we need depth? I think when we we have acces to so much broad and deep information, we are more focused on how we use information wisely. This is the great teaching challenge we face in 2006.
“Koonz and Turkle believe that todays students are less tolerant of ambiguity than the students they taught in the past. ‘They demand clarity’ says Koontz. They want identifiable good guys and bad guys, which she finds problematic in teaching complex topics…”
As a self-confessed “extreme moderate” this worries me quite a bit. There is quite a bit of grey in the world - we need young people to understand nuanced situations and be comfortable in ambiguity (this is why I love the Episcopal church, by the way).
“For all the handwringing about Generation M, technology is not really the problem…the problem…is what you are not doing if the electronic movement grows to large…”
In classic Time magazine fashion, there are some wonderful, hands-on tips for parents (taken from Dr. Edward Hallowell’s great book CrazyBusy : Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap! Strategies for Coping in a World Gone ADD)
See for yourself what it’s all about. Get on IM. Download an MP3, Play a video game. Create a MYspace account, let your kids be your guide, but talk to them about how to use these technologies wisely.
Set limits, monitor content and teach “techno manners”. For everyone: no cell phones at the dinner table. No playing video games while someone is trying to talk to you. Np ignoring mom and dad when they come home because they are glued to a video screen.
Look for the good. Search for what’s positive and innovative in the ways in which your children are using and adapting o the new technology. Try to imagine how it could be used to enhance relationships and learning.
Take time to hangout with your kids. DO mundane, non-technological things . Wash the car together, play ping-pong, debate politics, take them out for ice-cream (no ipods or cell phones). Spend time together with eyes and ears available to them.
All in all a great article, and a good treatment of the subject.