My youngest child graduated from high school in May of 2013. She is a techie kid, as a result of having access to technology at school and at home throughout her formative years. She grew up in a household that had a computer from the time of her birth…although back then, it was for grown-ups only, and it wasn’t until she and her brothers were responsible elementary grades students that they were able to earn computer time for things like Oregon Trail. By the time she hit junior high, Facebook was a “thing” and she became part of that community, allowing her to connect to the hundreds of students and adults she would meet through the zillions of camps, workshops, institutes, and experiences she would have throughout high school. As a college student at UAF, she lives in the dorms but takes some of her classes online via Blackboard and is only able to connect with classmates and professors via a virtual world, as that is the only way the courses are offered. Mind you, this is happening on a very traditional university campus. Technology has been a part of her life for a while, with "technology" changing dramatically throughout the course of her life. The refreshed ISTE digital citizenship standards “fit” people like Emmie.
Then compare my daughter to my granddaughter, who turned two last September. While Emmie has grown up with technology and has lived alongside personal “new media” devices as it, too, as has grown from being a “special treat” to something that is part of every waking moment of her life, my granddaughter, Valori, was born into a world in which new media is so ever-present and pervasive that it is invisible. A split second after her birth, the new grandparents in the waiting room had photos of her tiny face beamed to our smartphones. As soon as she was able to hold a rattle, one of her favorite toys was a nifty plastic case that made it possible for her to hold and interact with media on her parents’ iPhones. At six months of age, she loved to sit on my lap and swat at the screen of Grandma’s iPad as colorful shapes floated across the screen and as the device made cool chiming noises when her little hands made contact with the circles and squares and triangles. At 18 months, when her uncle gave her a discarded cell phone (one of many that now reside in the toy box), she instinctively held it with both hands and pressed the keys with both thumbs as if texting…followed by holding the phone up in the air, screen pointed toward her face, for a toddler selfie. She isn’t even three, but she knows what to do with a computer mouse, she understands how the touchpad on my laptop works, and she loves to FaceTime with her grandparents (my husband and me) who live 200 miles away, and with her great-grandparents who are more than 3,500 miles “down the road.” The world is a very different place for her because of the natural presence of new media that infuses every aspect of her life. So…will the ISTE standards be different 15 years from now, when Valori is graduating from high school? How could they not be different, when there is no way to imagine what a generation born into a world with a tEcosystem where new media is not only “no big deal,” but they will have never, ever, ever known a world without it?
Whew. What an amazing time to be alive.
ISTE. (2007). ISTE Standards for Students. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/standards-for-students or http://www.iste.org/docs/pdfs/20-14_ISTE_Standards-S_PDF.pdf
Ohler, J. (2010). Digital community, Digital Citizen. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Smith, D. (25 Jan. 2015). Google Chairman: 'The Internet will disappear.' Business Insider. Retrieved from
http://www.businessinsider.com/google-chief-eric-schmidt-the-internet-will-disappear-2015-1 on 1 Feb. 2015.