Monday, 8 July 2013

Children and technology

A couple of things have made me chuckle this week.  Firstly, my son - 8 years old, who likes to play Minecraft with his friends online.  At 8am in the morning, when the rest of us are bleary eyed and trying to rustle up enough energy to eat breakfast and psyche ourselves up for the day, he is chasing spiders and digging holes and building monumental structures with his friend.

People often say that technology renders our children unable to socialise properly, because they spend all their time looking at gadgets and games.  I would beg to differ: when I was eight years old, there is no way I would have been chatting to my friends, plotting our next move, or creating wonderfully imaginative lands at 8am on a school day.

The other thing that made me laugh this week was when I was Googling something.  I can't even remember what it was, but my 15 year old daughter was with me and we were looking for something together.  When we couldn't find what we wanted, I suggested we look at page 2 of the Google results.  My daughter laughed out loud, stared at me in amazement, and said, incredulously "who looks at page 2???".  Personally, I often look at page 2 and beyond, but it struck me as interesting that a teenager would view this as an epic fail, both in terms of Google's ability to 'know' what I'm looking for, and in terms of the user's inability to have chosen the right search terms in the first place.

That's all, really, I just thought it was interesting how these digital natives differ to me, especially given that I consider myself almost a digital native as I use the internet so much.

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