A five-year-old or even a toddler today may have a similar digital footprint of an adult. Hand a smartphone to them and see how they manoeuvre to access their favourite apps and content within seconds. The technological boom has been a bane, and the very early exposure to technology is taking them ahead than the older generations.
With the impact of the pandemic, this shift has accelerated as elementary school kids are hooked to devices all the time and learning about new tech from a really young age. It is not just about the fun stuff, they are operating smartphones and tablets for online learning, figuring new techniques to tackle their workload and making new strides in being tech savvy.
An international study cites that an average 8- to 10-year-old spends almost 8 hours a day on various media and screens, while this number goes up with teenager’s source. Our younger generations are already way ahead in becoming digital natives and spending more time online than on any other activity. The trend, as it seems, will continue. While there are alarming concerns with the constant dependence on technology, this exposure is enriching for many kids for a bright tech future.
Whether it is via helping to learn and develop their cognitive and analytical skills or becoming more tech savvy to help others, Edtech has opened massive opportunities for younger generations. While the older generations did not have much access to advanced tech growing up, early exposure to technology will have the current generations more excited about it (which they already are). Technology, in the future, will be the root and core of any business, and the digital skills will be handy for these generations to prepare for their future and the possibilities it offers.
Some studies have also indicated how tech exposure helps children become adept at multitasking, something we vouch for. It also aids in spatial development, as gamifications has soared in the last few years. It is indeed fascinating to envision how esports and gaming will be a viable career option for many, the heart of which is technology Therefore, learning visual-spatial skills via video games can be a great way to improve one’s focus and mental abilities.
The most outstanding factor is how the use of technology is inculcating problem solving skills in younger children. We often hear many stories of how a teenager invented an application to tackle a pertinent problem, for a community. The vast opportunity to explore and learn via games, applications and other tools has can provide children the flexibility to develop solutions to the most common problems, and the reap rewards for it.
It is fascinating to realise that your kid’s digital footprint may be much larger than yours, and we must enable them to make the right use of technology which benefits the young budding minds. It will be exciting to see how the next decade pans out and the impact these trends will have on our culture. Generation Z is much ahead and invested in using new technology, searching out the best practices and implementing them in real life, which is perhaps a learning for their elders. This immersion in technology will certainly pave way for a new cultural and social pedagogy which may not have existed before. It might seem a bit ominous with the world changing so fast, the difference will open us up to the possibilities of this new digitally native world.