My 21st Century children
I shouldn’t really be suprised that my kids (9, 10 and 13) are comfortable 21st C learners and users of technology, as my children have been exposed to a range of web tools since they were little… #1 son created his own Yahoo page – linked to mine – when he was 4 (with a little help from me, but he was in control) All three of my kids are aware of piracy and why it is not a good thing, and shouldn’t be encouraged, even to the point where they told off my Mum, when she bought a dodgy DVD at a market. Mr 13 wants to be involved in Game Development as a career down the track, so he can see how piracy can endanger that as a career path. They are very articulate when it comes to security and privacy when working or playing online – little Miss 9 informed me I shouldn’t call her by her real name, when I made a comment on her blog post on Imbee (a social networking sitee for little ones, along the lines of Facebook, but restricted and supervised to ensure only children access it).
So, what was the first grown up social networking site Mr 13 wanted to join??? Facebook??? MySpace??? no… Twitter. And this threw me. I love my Twitter, my Professional Learning Network has become global because of it, but I found it difficult to get my head around how teens could use this tool… apart from the self obsessed ramblings you see from some media outlets… What was the point???? The answer – Games!!!
He plays Adventure Quest, an online RGP game, and has done for a while, all 3 of them do. Well….. the Game designers from AQ worlds, have Twitters, and were encouraging their users to follow them…. So Mr 13 created his Twitter account… He added his favourite game designers and even Game shops, like EB Games. Spending the weekend watching two gamers reflect on the conference they were at on and off, from my perspective was interesting.
We talked about the privacy, and that the comment about there being “another slice of pizza left” was viewable by the whole of the Twittersphere… was that what he wanted??? He had already had people try to add him, so he locked himself up nice and tight, protecting his tweets – although that did make it a challenge for me to add him… we managed in the end.
He found his cousin was using Twitter… so added him. I recommended not adding me, as my Tweets would bore him 🙂 being mainly eLearning stuff…. and he was fine with that.
Then… he discovered his cousin was also on Facebook… so that was next. He added me as a friend, and as a friend pointed out, what a wonderful position to be in as a parent… not stalking, or helicopter parenting, but having the lines of communication open, so as we head into the teen years, I will be kept in the loop in some way, and be able to support him in the best way possible, by being there when he needs me. I will have to make sure I don’t overstep the mark and invade his space too much though, as that is the biggest criticism my senior students have of their parents using Facebook.
What I love is that the kids can see the tool for what it is, beyond the media hype, it is a way to source and gather information, which is exactly how I use it.