I have a confession to make. I passed notes in school; lots of them. In class, in the halls, at lunch, you name a place in the school, I passed notes there.They looked like this.
Bigger confession: I wrote them in class. All the time.
And I got caught with those notes. Some teachers threw them away, some read them out loud (side note – that NEVER made me stop writing them, it just taught me to write more cryptically), but never did a teacher take away my paper and pencil.
So, what’s my point? I keep hearing and reading things about how our kids are addicted to technology and how their devices make them anti-social.
I can’t even count the number of times this Look Up video has crossed my Facebook or Twitter feed (and I won’t even begin to address the issue that we are using social media to tell each other how social media is anti-social!).
The medium has changed but the kids have not.
I’m not convinced it’s the devices.
I’m not convinced kids are being disrespectful.
I think they are just being kids.
Frustrating some times? Absolutely!
But rather than writing off a whole generation as being disengaged and anti-social, maybe we need to step back and think about where we were and what we were doing at that age.
- Did you study in study hall or goof off with your friends?
- Did you keep conversations from your parents?
- Did you test your wings?
- Did you read every assignment and pay attention in every class?
- Did you have a class that you absolutely hated but HAD to take as a requirement?
My guess is, if you’re honest, you weren’t much different than kids today. You just didn’t have the technology they do.
And let’s face it, haven’t we all checked our phones, sent a text, or answered an email in a meeting we found boring or unproductive? Rather than writing them off, let’s figure out ways to incorporate technology into our classrooms and teach and model tech etiquette (and I don’t mean collecting devices, blocking social media, or telling them they are anti-social or addicted).
I just downloaded It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. I can’t wait to read Danah Boyd’s insights.
But I’m pretty sure the kids are alright.