Technology is now said to double every two years. This is somewhat scary considering most of us have been around for 20-ish years, and as such the amount of technology available has skyrocketed within our lifetime alone. Generational gaps used to be slightly less significant over a larger window of time, but now it seems the gap can be widened even between those that are two years apart.
From time to time, I see parents pushing a child in a stroller that's playing with a smartphone. Given that this child may not necessarily be able to walk and is playing games on a phone that I, a 20 year old, got just this past Christmas, I am in shock. When I was little, the only portable thing I had was a Gameboy Pocket, and I was lucky at that. I had Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Land III, and never beat either no matter how much I played them. There are children now who could probably play Through the Fire and Flames on Expert, yet can barely hold the controller, solely because they grew up with this technology.
Getting back on topic, it is ridiculous that children have access to so much at such a young age. We had smart-boards our senior year of high school, and even then the teachers either did not want to utilize them because they did not understand them or because they had no way to incorporate them into predetermined lessons. Teachers were under strict orders to not let the students use them either because, I assume, they were so new and expensive.
Having access to a computer from the time they are able to control their motor skills effectively, many children are more adept and well-versed with technology, social networking, educational games, and digital literacy in general. I didn't have a laptop until I received one for my graduation present, and even then I was really unaware of how to use many programs or utilize Microsoft Office to its full potential. In a classroom setting, this would have been embarrassing as a teacher if I had these problems.
Part of our responsibilities as future educators is to stay connected with as much technology as possible, and fully recognize the potential that some media outlets hold for us within the classroom. Unfortunately, I feel that since technology is progressing at such a fast rate it may be impossible to continually remain on top of the developments unless we make it a striving point.
There is an infinite wealth of wisdom and utilities at our disposal, yet our students may have already beaten us to the punch when it comes to exposing them to it. What do you think?