Finding Slow In A Digital Nation

EDUCATION, EVENTS, REVIEWS | | May 26, 2009 at 8:30 pm

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Mommy Niri was invited, along with several bloggers, media representatives and significant educators (professors, teachers and principals) to view the launch of the Digital Nation project at the WGBH studios. Digital Nation will culminate into an hour long documentary (slated to be released in Winter 2010) and a highly interactive website too. Typically documentaries are released to the public after it is made and then sliced and diced with praise and criticism by public and experts. This time the award winning journalist Rachel Dretzin, who is also the producer and director of the documentary, decided to use the constant feedback to mold the documentary into something real and keeping up to date with the ever changing technology and trends.

The way we were brought up, compared to our parents and our children seems to have many gaps. True that those changes have been there time immemorial but the impact of the Digital Nation is far reaching and needs to be explored deeper. It is not merely about who has the coolest sneakers anymore, since the “haves” have technology to help assist grades and the “have-nots” have to deal with the disadvantage impacting their performance. Also it is easier to have a level hand on parenting and curb your child’s addictive or undesirable habits when you are not dealing with holding down several jobs just to make ends meet.

After over a decade working as a software engineer I do consider technology my friend. Using it to help me multitask so I can spend the better portion of my day with my family is what I appreciate most of gadgets. Having said that I don’t blindly reach for the latest and greatest gadget, partially for the cost factor and also since we hate the clutter. I do worry, immensely, that all this moving at drastic speed makes it hard to slow down. Are we helping our kids learn to take a slow pace and breathe in a little? Are kids, and grownups alike, becoming less social with people face-to-face? I also worry about the effect on education.

If kids are spending so much time online, are we teaching them how to get offline? Do we know how to get offline ourselves?

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