Monday, January 25, 2010

If Your Kids Are Awake, They Are Likely Online

A recent study performed by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that kids between the ages of 8 to 18 spend more than 7 1/2 hours a day using electronics. This is 7 1/2 hours outside of class, and includes devices such as smart phones, computers and iPods. With this kind of extra time, there really is no excuse for how my son's bedroom floor looks.

A sample statistic known as 'The Firios Family', confirms the new findings. My teenage boys are correctly classified by Apple Computer as digital kids. This new age of students are described as hypercommunicators, multitaskers, and goal oriented. Goal oriented? Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

As a future math teacher, my biggest challenge is how to best teach a classroom of digital kids. One obstacle is my own love of pencil and paper. Especially pencils with an extra large eraser cap. Part of my enjoyment in math is the struggle of working a problem, over and over, wearing down the eraser cap until I become Master of The Rational Fractions. I know for many this sounds incredibly tedious and painful, but painful for me is a crossword puzzle. To each his own.

The second item in the Educational Technology Standards established for teachers, is the need to design and develop learning experiences that will incorporate digital tools and resources. I am pretty sure that my eraser caps do not qualify as a digital tool. My younger son does a great deal of his math homework online, using a website that allows for skills practice and review. While I have yet to see him submit his work via his iTouch, it is sure to happen sooner than later.

Maybe there will be a day when students send their homework to my iTouch...but first I would have to buy an iTouch...then read the manual for the iTouch...I already miss my eraser caps.

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