Recently I have been thinking about the world my son and daughter have been born into. My daughter does not mind me using her name on the web though I am under strict instructions from my son – no names and definitely no photos. So to adopt from a trend of others who blog family, my kids are hereafter are known as @15b and @12g.
Let me say first there are no original ideas. Other more learned people than myself have touched on this issue such as @trib in this post and @markpesce in this post which Mark described in Twitter (as he was writing it) as one of his best pieces of writing.
My work, life and our family life have changed immeasurably in the last 15 years.
Introducing @15b and @12g
@15b was born bang in 1993 as was the WWW and @12g three years later when I finally managed to construct a way to get on to the web.
I. A typical night
At this very moment. I am an the computer in the living room of the house. This is the one which we fight over. If the remote for the TV or the computer is unattended someone jumps. @15b is on a laptop to my left on the lounge pretending to do work for Jenny but is multitasking. @12g in in the room straight ahead which is set up with two computers. She is writing up a science experiment while checking with her friends online about what she has to do. Jenny is on the oldest computer probably checking email – and hopefully saving a copy of her reply in case it times out before she sends it. As for me I have just had a skype call from Moodleman @jsridden where we discussed embedding videos into Edublogs, loudtwitter and twittering from phone. Now I am writng this monitoring twirl on the right hand side of my large screen dreaming of the day when I can have two monitors. I digress.
This is a typical night in the Pluss household. The computer is in the living area due to my firm conviction that the “comput” needs to be in the living area. Many an argument was had with late adopters in the 1990s about how the study was dead. I have also noticed something else. Initially I used to watch the TV and play on the web now there has been a shift. The focus in now on the interaction on the web and TV is second fiddle. I do believe I am watching less and less TV – that is a big thing for me. @15 and @12 have never really been into games on computs but have been exposed to pay TV since I got Galaxy in 1996. I do believe they too are watching less of TV. I suspect this is a society wide development- well for those engaging in social networking anyway.
II. Digital Natives- not
@15b and @12g though they are known as digital natives their skills are still sometimes left wanting. They have skills in certain areas and not others. What I am interested in is what defines the nature of the skill set.
III. They want to use the technology not wanting to understand how it works.
@15b and @12g and their peers just want things to work, serve their purpose of connecting and if it fails they go onto something else until it is fixed by @47.
Things on the horizon for @15b and @12g
I. Digital Footprint
They will have to be aware of their digital footprint and how to manage it. It is not high in their thinking now but it will become more of an issue as they get to the workforce.
ii. Managing their online presence
They will need a system to keep track of and manage decades of usernames and passwords.
iii. They too need to be flexible
They need to be not stuck in the world they were born into because when they reach the age of @46 and @47 they will have to understand the world that their @’s are born into.