By Liza Wisner, Founder of PowerUp
My kids are so amazing. They consistently surprise me by doing and saying amazing things. However, the way in which they are learning to do and say things has been changing rapidly since the dawn of the new millennium.
From the moment they take their first steps, kids begin taking advantage of the vast number of apps and unlimited access to rich content made possible by the technological advances of the previous decade.
For example, 70% of children between 2 and 5 years old can operate a computer mouse, while only 11% of those same children can tie their shoes.
I love children and I am thrilled to have started two organizations, Texas Techies anchored by PowerUp, which provide children with hands-on technology education so that they may start exploring the technological wonders of the 21st century as early as possible. It has been a delightful journey watching my own children master iPads as they conquer their earliest years of schooling. I can’t begin to imagine what kind of computing magic they’ll be capable of when they’re all grown up.
Technology surrounds us in our daily lives. Of the books a child reads in a year, 24 are now read on a tablet whereas only 15 are read in print. While technology has been in front of us at work and at home for quite some time, it’s now so ubiquitous that we bring it with us wherever we go thanks to innovations in mobility and ease of use. It often makes our lives easier once we make that initial leap to become comfortable with something new. I think this is the driving force behind my passion for technology. I see it as a wonderful new way to improve the lives and education of children, which are no doubt the other two things I cherish most.
Children become comfortable with new technologies way faster than adults, as the younger and younger generations are born into an increasingly advanced world. Children truly are ‘digital natives.’ We should embrace this and encourage a philosophy of optimism and empowerment when addressing the challenges of reaching children who are at-risk of falling behind in the digital age due to inadequate access to quality tech tools and tech ed.
The average number of computers per K-12 schools in America grew from 90 to 194 computers per classroom from 1998 to 2012. One and a half million iPads are deployed in classrooms around the country. Students with access to an iPad will find 20,000 apps for education and 50,000 free lectures, books, and videos. Things are getting better, but there’s always room for further improvements. LearnStuff has developed an insightful image to convey the most interesting changes in technology in the context of education.
With technology advancing so rapidly year by year, we parents and education professionals must work together to make sure we are best serving our children as they enter the world of touch screens and global interconnectivity. They are the next several generations of human beings who will lead us as we turn the corner of the next technological revolution – and in the 21st Century, you can be sure we will see many such revolutions!