05/01/2015

Raising screenagers

At the risk of sounding like my Mum, kids aren’t the same these days – and thank goodness for that!

Not only would it be incredibly sad if riding horses, bicycles, playing with skipping ropes and climbing trees were still the extent of amusements widely available (by the way, kids still do that too - at least mine do) – it wouldn’t bode well for the future of humanity, or the planet either!

Children now are digital natives – they have grown up with technology.

A three year old instinctively knows how to get a tablet to work.

A five year old can search, find, colour-in online, download and print out a picture of a particular type of train he likes with little help on a computer – all the app icons look the same as those he’s seen on the tablet.

And now an eight year old can take that tablet or laptop to a Codebrite workshop, or two, or three at Basestation, the communications and technology space in the heart of the city of Tauranga and find out how to get it to do what he wants it to do!

He/she can learn how to program the device to achieve a result they've imagined.

What opportunity they have!

What an opportunity for us as New Zealand parents too.

We can make the most of this moment in the world's history and encourage our 8 year olds, (and 9, 10, all the way up to when they consider themselves to old to listen to Mum and Dad any more) to get ahead of the innovation curve and take control of these devices.

We can give them the opportunity to use all these smart tools and combine them with the sense of team, the love of the natural world, tinkering disposition and gift of knowing how to make friends and influence people all over the world which kiwis have – and make a real difference.

If we take advantage of initiatives like the ‘byte-sized’ computer programming workshops, instigated by Tauranga City Council (and give our babes a rest from the wicked summer sun for a couple of hours) we can set them on the path to creating a fine future for us all – making the most of technology, solving problems and creating possibilities beyond our comprehension.

Thanks to Project Tauranga and one of its partners, Powerco, the IITP (Institute of IT Professionals), Code Avengers and the Venture Centre team raising ‘screenagers’ doesn’t have to be the worry it is often portrayed. Sceenagers can be more than passive consumers of technology: they can be encouraged to see and work out how to use those screens – and their ‘native’ abilities – to change the world.

To book a Codebrite workshop go here.

To find out more go here.

To speak to someone at Venture Centre about Codebrite workshops call us on 0800 000 577 or email info@venturecentre.co.nz

Read 4925 times Last modified on 03/03/2015