Then and Now

11 04 2005

Information! Not what they know but that they know how to get it, if it is good information and what to do when they have the information. This will be the future for my kids. I was walking through the school library stacks this past weekend after hours, trying to clear my mind for a major project that I was working on. It brought me back to my college days only the stacks were longer, higher and there were many, many more of them. I always enjoyed going to the library. To walk among the stacks was like a religious experience for me. To be surrounded by all of the knowledge! Just imagine if I know one tenth of a percent of all the knowledge contained in these walls! How amazing I would be.

However, this day I had a different thought. You see, I was working on a project for my Master’s degree through Pepperdine. This was a class on curriculum and I was walking to clear my mind and think about how this project would come together. I was developing a full day class for parents- A Parent’s Guide to the Internet. It hit me again as I was walking through these stacks just how much information surrounded me. However, this time I had a parallel thought. My mind was multi-tasking. I was surrounded by all of this information but it would take me a long time to find any small piece of information from among all of these books. However, with the advent of the Internet, I can put my finger on just about any topic and pull up volumes of information in seconds.

While it is true that this information will be vast and diverse and will require some additional critical thinking, there were tools and techniques I could use to narrow my search and increase the validity of the information I was accessing.

These are the skills that my kids will need to know. It is now what they know but that they know how to get the information and that they will know what to do when they have the right information.

As for what my kids know that I don’t know, they are naturals at this technology. The other day, I was sitting down with our new X-Box and I got a lesson from my 8 year old son on how to use the game. I could not keep up with him. While I was trying to figure out the game and how pieces moved, what the object was, if there were strategies, my son was kicking my rear. I should mention that neither one of us had played this specific game before. The difference was he was like a fish in water with this technology and could analyze on the fly while I really wanted to slow down and take notes. He lived the game, I thought about the game. He is a native, I am an immigrant.

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