The digital leadership of the young and their homes
An invitation to reflect
Roger Broadie and Mal Lee are researching a monograph on ‘The impact of personal mobile technologies on the 24/7/365 education of the world’s young, 1993 – 2017’. We hope this will provide a foundation for further work on how government, schools and families can best support children’s learning in a connected world.
It will explore the impact of the evolving personal technologies since the release of Mosaic in 1993 on the young of the world, both in and outside the school walls, the changes in technology and technological practises that influenced usage, and the role played by the young, their families and the school.
Importantly it will address the evolving scene globally, and not simply that in the developed nations.
Moreover it will examine the nature of the digital education acquired in the 80% of annual learning time available to the young outside the school over the last twenty plus years, as well as that acquired within the classroom.
Twenty plus years since the advent of the WWW the world is watching the operation and impact of two distinct digital education modes – the out of school laissez faire mode that has successfully educated the young of the world in the use of the rapidly evolving technology at no cost to government and the formal, in school tightly controlled mode that annually costs governments billions of dollars – with questionable dividends.
We suggest it is time to pause, reflect and decide on the way forward.
Bear in mind around 3.4 billion people globally (ITU, 2016) daily successfully use the networked world, with few having being taught by teachers.
The research will explore these kind of big ideas, that
- the nature of youth, and youth education changed historically with the advent of the Web and the facility accorded the young to access the information of the networked world directly and not through adult filters
- the young and their families, operating in a laissez faire, seemingly chaotic world – and not formal schooling – have led the 24/7/365 digital education of the young for the past twenty plus years, and are track to play even greater leadership role
- the digitally connected family became the norm in the developed world, around 2007 – 2008, with those families likely increasingly taking charge of their children’s 24/7/365 digital education.
- most children in the developed, and evermore in the developing world will start school having normalised the use of the digital.
- While cell/smartphones are integral to 24/7/365 lives and learning of the world’s teens scant or no use was made of that capability in most schools, with the few that are succeeding being largely ignored by governments in policy setting and the accountability measures for all schools.
To assist our efforts we are planning to interview a cross section of eminent educators globally who have observed, experienced, researched and/or commented upon the digital education of the young in and out of schools over the last two decades.
If you – or your colleagues – would like to reflect on the past twenty plus years with Roger or Mal we would love to hear from you.
Simply email Mal at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll set up a Skype interview when convenient.