Sunday, September 25, 2005

From Teachers to Learners: The Role of Adults in the Age of Technology

I was thinking the other day about how all this new technology requires so many new technology or media literacies. Not only do we have to keep learning how to use new technologies, but we have to learn this at a very fast rate. It's funny to think that only 30 or so years ago kids in school were learning just to read and write on paper, whereas nowadays kids have to learn not only to read and write with such old-fashioned tools as pen and paper, but also have to learn to use computers, internet, and then outside of the classroom mobiles, mp3 players and so on. In todays rapidly changing technology landscape, if you are to keep up with all the new technologies, you have to constantly aquire new skills. Kids are being raised to cope with so many different forms of media that they have to have so many different skills.

Which led me to thinking about who actually teaches technology or media literacies, and you will find that most of the time it's the kids teaching the adults. I remember one class in highschool where a lady came in to teach us to use photoshop (or some similar graphics program) and for most of the lesson a guy in our class was explaining the program to her. And think about how many times you've had to teach your mum how to text message or your dad how to use the computer.

What's funny though, is that although we (young people) are learning all these new technological skills, adults are learning them at the same speed as us. It's just that most adults can't seem to keep up, and often become confused by the fast-paced environment of technology, often expressing nostalgia for 'simpler times'.

I think it's interesting to look at how adults, who have typically been the teachers, passing on skills and traditions from previous generations, have now become the learners, learning to cope and keep up with technology from us youngsters.


Post a Comment

<< Home