Meet Misha (on the right). She’s my daughter’s (left) BFF and just about the most awesome 8-year-old you’ll ever meet. She’s a great dancer, loves reading, and watches movies repeatedly when she really gets into them. You know that kid whose needs you sometimes forget about in your class because they’re so bright and independent? That’s her.
Misha, like many normal middle-class kids in countries that have Apple Stores, got a 4th generation iPod Touch for Christmas. In case you were looking the other way or taking a nap, I want to suggest that we have just experienced a major change in the tide.
It is now not uncommon for kids in elementary schools to own what, for all intents and purposes, is an iPhone 4. I’m not saying that they’re everywhere. I’m simply saying that it’s not surprising if and when you see it.
I see a 4th generation iPod Touch as quite a different animal to other devices because it is essentially an iPhone 4. In addition to internet connectivity, access to the entire App Store, and music playing which many of us have grown accustomed to, the new Touch takes high quality photos and video, records audio, and can be used as a data-plan-less cell phone when on wifi. Oh, and you can make video calls. Yes, video calls. Anytime you want.
So, next time you need a filler for a staff meeting, perhaps you could facilitate a simple 20 minute activity which asks the following questions.
First, take a quick vote: Do you think it will become more or less normal to see children in possession of these kinds of devices?
Next, an inductive thinking activity based on this question: What does this mean for learning in our schools?