Student Panel at NJELITE Leadershp Conference

[Live blogged, so please forgive typos and awkward wording]

Panel Session of Teens and TweensMy sessions are over, and the ferry is waiting. But there is one final session, a panel discussion of some teenagers — the Net Generation. I middle schooler, one graduating senion, on rising senior, and an elementary school. The graduated senior just said that schools should be the first place where new technologies appear. They attended a session here about podcasting and were, evidently, impressed. They want to see podcasting in their classrooms.

The elementary student just said that she was tired of having to go to the lab to do technology. She said that each student should have a laptop. The graduated senior said, “In the workplace, you don’t make people share computers.”

Jenny just asked the question — what do you see in the future with technology.

  • Cars that drive themselves
  • Robots
  • Advances in GPS — integrating

What about video games. The middle school students siad that video games will help students develop social skills. The graduate is talking about a World War II game, and how it might help with history classes. He is using some impressive vocabulary.

Nothing else coming. Jenny then asked, do you play games. All four raised their hands immediately. They’ve gone to the youngest student, and asked her and she’s talking about a virtual environment game called Animal Crossing where she meets her friends, goes to their houses, and works to “pay off her loans.”

I’m seeing a lot of evidence of these kids having trouble seeing connections between their video game and other home information experiences and their classrooms.

They’re now opening questions up to the audience. Someone is asking about violent video games. Do they think that they make kids more violent. “I says that peole get angry toward the video game.” “I don’t see any influence from my violent video games.” “When you’re watching TV, and something violent happens, you can see the differences between how older people reach and younger viewers.”

I just asked if they used a social network (MySpace, FaceBook, or Bebo, etc.) Only one of them does, the rising senior. One boy said that his Dad convinced him that it was a waste of time. Of the boy who uses MySpace, I asked how he stayed safe. He described some things that he did with his profile to keep himself anonymous. Then I asked, “Who taught you that!” He looked confused, “Who taught me?” I guess the guy who built the site. I just figured it out. “So it was because it seemed like the size thing to do?” “Yes!”

“My teachers are not teaching me how to use the Internet. They just teach you how to use Google. There is so much more to finding information on the Internet than just Google.”

“What’s getting missed in school is Art. One of the best, most useful classes I too was Digital Photography.”

Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.