If someone had asked me, I’d have to admit that I more easily identify with teens on the story than with the parents we’ve seen. I sometimes feel torn between the parental obligation and the general tendency to get involved and have my say, and the very strong knowledge that you can’t go on controlling your offspring’s lives. You must allow them to find their own way, operate their wits, develop their street wisdom. And my oldest isn’t even 14.
In my view, one of the most important facts this story revealed was, that teenagers are net-savvy not only technically. They know not to take a candy off a stranger. Some teens there say: “well, if a new network friend suddenly asks me where I live – I’m going to shut him off. What business is it of a stranger to know where I live?”.
Cyber safety is one of the main obstacles standing on the way of technology, mainly web, to education. Both parents and teachers are concerned about child safety on the internet. But researches quoted on that story claim that kids today are a lot net-smarter and won’t fall that easily. Unless they want to. That’s a different story.
The other fear delaying technology in education is of the net-savvyness of the students as opposed to their teachers and parents. While I watched the interviews with the teachers on the Frontline show I realized a whole generation (or two) of teachers may find themselves outdated if they don’t adjust to the new world, and fast. Let me stress that this is not an age thing. Teachers who want to teach will learn to use every tool that allows them to better communicate with their students. Some teachers want to teach but cannot grasp technology. They can be the best teachers in history, but without the means to communicate with their students, they won’t achieve the same title in the future.
In the meantime, the evolution in education is supplying us with technology VS. technology with solution like plagiarism.org and the turnitin.com. Some teachers simply ask their students to go back to pen and paper “technology” with their projects. And Sparknotes? Well, on the bright side, students can now be exposed to a lot more literature, if they can finish off Romeo and Juliet in an hour or two.