Generation Touch

Generation Touch is already here. We already have students who have grown up on touch screens and we have parents whose children are using touch devices at the age of one and two. You do not have to do much investigating to discover generation touch will engage easily with these devices at a very young age and find them very shiny. If you look further it is at the cognitive interaction level. They are touching and swiping and using gestures to fill in gaps, hear sounds , perform tasks at the automatic level of cognitive interaction as you would to turn on a switch , brush your teeth or run through a series of exercises. It means as teachers we need to get them onto the explicit interaction level to truly engage with these devices and use them as real learning and thought development tools. They may also be a step on the way to real technological interaction and engagement in much the same way many children’s and educational toys are. Just because it is a device doesn’t necessarily mean it is better than Lego , Meccano ,board games or computers in terms of child and brain development. We need to ensure these students are being as well educated as any generation before them and encouraged to think and develop their skills. Both the video and this article from Tech Cruch – Generation Touch will Redraw Consumer Technology give food for thought. As teachers we need to put our educational theories together with our new approaches and then look at what the outcomes are. We need to do that now or we shall have classrooms run by consumer tech and not educational tech and we shall have the marketing done by companies and media rather than educationally driven companies and educators. It is important for us to know the strengths and limitations of devices and then to know which devices fit into which areas of learning and thinking development.

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