Tech Savvy is a Relative Term

Have any of you been told just how tech savvy this generation is?  I certainly have.  As a teacher I am told all the time to just hand hardware to my kids and let them figure it out because surely they know more than I do.  WRONG!

I am completely amazed at my students’ struggles with technology.  Let’s break this down:

We have two big issues here: hardware and software.

  • Hardware
    • iPads
    • phones
    • Chromebooks
    • desktops
    • laptops
    • tablets
  • Software
    • complete computer software programs
    • task specific apps
    • extensions

I might agree that the kids can take an actual piece of hardware and make it work.  They can usually play around with the physical design of the thing and make it turn on and manage the controls – they have probably played with something with similar features before.

Software, on the other hand, is a whole different story!  I can’t help but be surprised each and every time they quickly give up and ask for help when presented with a new app or extension.  Where is their adventurous spirit?  Whether having to register, navigate the pages on the site, or somehow submit or share their work, I am deluged with requests for help and reassurance.  Unfortunately, this makes me cranky.  Very cranky.

I mean, really, how hard is it to click a few times and see what happens?  Why won’t they do that?  I think we have pretty solid evidence that nothing is going to explode and no alarms will go off.  Where is the hesitation coming from?

From where I sit, it is a refusal to risk being wrong.  They are afraid to make a move that could be wrong and they might not be able to fix.  What if they can’t destroy the evidence that they made a wrong choice?  What would their peers think?  What would their parents think?  Oh no!