Kids and Media

From Growing Up Digital:

"Dr. Idit Harel…argues it is senseless to talk about being addicted to technology–you have to examine the function. 'Holding power is not because of the technology,' she says.  'It's because the media enables them to do things which they care about–which are attractive and enjoyable.  Kids with a Nintendo joy pad are not addicted to technology, they are racing a car.  They are having fun, and playing with other kids.' Kids on the Net are not using technology.  Rather they may be 'trying to solve a mathematical problem, designing or building something, or solving a puzzle–trying to figure something out" (p. 116).

That's the difference between the natives and the immigrants, I guess.  For the immigrants, no matter how ingrained the new media becomes in our lives, it's still technology.  For the natives, it's how they learn about pop stars (I read Tiger Beat), talk to their friends (I used the phone or letters), and entertain themselves (I read and watched TV).  

Later in the book, Tapscott quotes Harel again in discussing constructionist experiences for kids using the web: "These aren't kids who only consume media…but they are constantly learning how to create media" (p. 151).  The question, I suppose, is how do they learn to create that media?  Are they creating within the same assumptions and paradigms or are they encouraged to move beyond, take a critical stance, and use their media creation to question the current trends?

Tapscott, D. (1998). Growing up digital.  New York: McGraw-Hill.


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