Kids on mobile devices ~ an infographic look

Kid tech, according to Apple Infographic Image source

It is no major surprise that kids in western civilisation have embraced tablet technology as part of their lives. What I am surprised by is that HALF of first-time iPod/iPad users are under the age of 5. Ease of use and entertainment would be a big part in this. Apps are designed to be easy, a touch screen requires basic fine motor skills. So many apps are educational, it’s an exploding market. Kids want one, my own kids like to fling out statements such as ‘everybody has one’ (To which I reply: ‘everybody except you,’ haha — although it is not, of course, literally everybody, it just feels that way…).

I taught in a Special Education unit and the iPad was a fantastic skill for students who did not have the fine motor skills to hold a pen (nor ever will have) yet they could trace their fingertip along a line on the touch screen, which prompted a reaction and reward.

There is no doubt these devices will be amazing tools. I still have qualms, though, for my own kids in this digital generation. I haven’t bought them devices. I am wary of the addiction and reliance and I so want them to enjoy their childhoods outdoors, being creative and not needing to be plugged in all the time. I, myself, do not have a ‘smart’ mobile phone (it just makes calls and sends texts). I want to consciously be in the moment I am in, not wondering what is happening with my friends lives on social media. I have an obsessive personality and I am holding out as long as possible πŸ™‚

With how far mobile technology has come to being an integral part of our daily lives I often wonder what it will look like for the next generation, and the generation after that? I think it is pretty amazing, that we are living in such exciting times (I remember thinking Get Smart’s shoe phone was incredible, lol). I also think I have responsibility to use the devices in such a way that they add quality of life, and not become something that detracts from it.

iMovie — bringing creativity and digital technology into the classroom

iMovie by uka0310 (flickr image CC BY-NC 2.0)

I loved reading Bruce Derby’s β€˜Creativity in my Pocket: No β€˜I’ Puns Here’ journal article. There are so many complex issues involved with integrating emerging technologies into the curriculum that it can be easy to feel swamped and out of depth. Derby simplifies everything down – mobile learning devices do not need to compete with traditional learning but rather augment it.

An iPod is a little easier to manage…
man with video camera by woodleywonderworks
(flickr image CC BY-NC 2.0)

I love the idea of using iMovie in classrooms. When I was in grade 11 my friends and I made a movie clip to go with a favourite song for our photography class. I remember the ridiculous fun we had – roaming about the school shooting in multiple locations and getting all arty with angles and acting and goofing around. Even more so, I still remember the hours and weeks spent editing and mucking about with bulky and time-consuming (expensive) technology, spending our lunchtimes and free periods in the lab to get things done in time. We fudged our way through it, our teacher constantly on hand to help with the complex technology. It’s astounding how far this technology revolution has come (understatement of the year). My own kids were making and editing movies (complete with synchronised sound tracks and special effects) when they were in first grade – for fun, at home, with no formal training.

I believe school should be a place where students (and teachers, too!) have fun. Where students are motivated and their creative potential is explored and expanded. The beauty of mobile devices, and apps such as iMovie, is that you can cover all the same curriculum content, achieve the same outcomes and indicators, and use these new technologies to present the learning in a way that enhances enthusiasm and enjoyment. How fun is making a movie with your friends? And then enjoying a lesson watching and learning from peers’ movies (even teachers love these relaxing and bonding lessons)? How much more does making a movie ignite creative processes as opposed to aurally presenting information in front of the class – it really is a fab tool for unleashing that creative possibilities.

β€œThere is nothing revolutionary here… The only thing that has changed is the application of newer technology to established tasks, expanding the possibilities for the creating of the final product. Most importantly, this technology is incredibly simple to use.” (Derby, 2011, P.99)

Special shout out to iOS developers and how they really have simplified technology. Seriously, even my grandmother can use this stuff πŸ™‚

Bonus: It was 1996 (year 11) — we made our own video clip to go along to Tracy Bonham’s Mother Mother. Oh, the angst of those teen years. Good times. Tracy Bonham’s original clip below πŸ™‚

Derby, B. (2011). Creativity in my pocket: No β€˜I’ puns here.Β English in Australia 46(3).