The kids are immersed. They are learning skills which will be of huge value to them in the 21st century and they seem to be starting from an intuitive base. They seem to just get it. They are working collaboratively, navigating their way through the tasks set for them, making their own choices, with minimum supervision. What’s more, they search out more, finding new ways to be creative, to socialize, and multitasking all the way.
And it’s wrong and we should stop them from doing it.
Because its digital.
We’re in the process of the digital disruption of our world where we put value judgments on technologies – books are generally good, digital is generally bad. Physical creativity good, digital creativity less so.
It’s an oversimplification (it’s what I do), but in education, there’s a suspicion that digital is a distraction from core learning skills, not an addition to them. We associate digital with gaming, not with learning – and children react to games with more enthusiasm than they do to homework. But just as sport teaches teamwork, so online gaming teaches collaboration. Just as reading books encourages children to understand the world, so games can allow children to create their own world. Neither option is universally good or bad.
The difficulty comes with the associated value judgments, handed down from parents and teachers and ascribed to the hardware of delivery. If its paper, its good. If its a tablet or a mobile, it’s bad.
But it’s not about the tools, it’s about what they learn from them.