Thursday, February 07, 2013

Our children are doomed

At first I thought it was charming how 2-year-olds were able to use iPhones to play games and watch videos. But now I see it has ruining our children.

I have a friend who is a kindergarten teacher. She relates how middle class children need remedial training for simple tasks like drawing with a crayon. Lower class children don't have smartphones at home, so have already learned how to handle other things. Middle class (and higher) know how to hold an iPhone and pinch-and-zoom, but have never held a crayon before.

The thing that worries me is that iPhones and iPads are great for consuming content, but horrible for creating it. I say this while typing on my laptop. I type really fast. But what I can't do is write with a pen/pencil. Except for signing checks, I haven't written anything in decades. Indeed, the last time I paid taxes, I asked my accountant to fill out the check for me so all I had to do was sign it. And even my signature has been reduced to a short squiggle.

I don't care about losing the ability to write as long as I can type. What worries me is that children won't learn how to type, either. Are we creating a generation of kids who know how to consume, but who can't produce anything?


AJ Alfieri-Crispin said...

I don't care about losing the ability to write as long as I can type.

I don't care about losing the ability to type as long as I can text-to-speech.

New tools, new skills, new requirements, new ways of being expressive and artistic. PLENTY of people are creating insanely great things on iPhones and iPads, they just aren't stuck around carrying larger devices if that was their mode for creation. Now folks have more choices which makes creation more available.

Kinds will learn to do what they need to do to maintain the level of comfort to which they have been accustomed and born to.

So to answer your final question: No.

Anonymous said...

You know, this makes a great analogy for security technology. We get this huge suites and tools to do things, and new analysts don't have the ability to do the basics anymore. I've been looking for a succinct analogy for that, and I think I've found it!


Anonymous said...

I have not had the same experience as your friend.

My boy is 3. He plays with our phones, tablets, and wii all the time. So do his friends. They all know how to color with crayons and markers, too.

Anonymous said...

I learned a long time ago to suppress thoughts that begin with "I have a friend who is a teacher and therefore..."

Anonymous said...

Human beings always go the easiest way, especially very young childrens.

Apple story started by building very open and extensible personnal computers at their stone age, in a garage.

Now, they build closed i-devices linked to an exclusive store with life and dead capability on any developer creation. These i-devices are so easy to use that children have already caused big holes in their parents banking in a few minutes!

Well, I refuse to own any i-device at home... and when my own children come hoem with their friends, they are quite suprised that I only own a good old EeePC 901 and no iPad.

In fact, my own children can uses i-devices at their friends home... but the opposite is not true.

Emerging countries that brings OLPC and their netbook likes, mostly under Linux as a white-box OS, to their educative system are right.

They will be the future of the technology industry because our children will have gone the easy way and later refuse to use and learn about anything that looks more complicated than the i-devices they are used to.

But as some comments, it seems we will continue digging our tombs.