Technology impact on young kids

My 4 year old son loves my iPad. He loves to watch movies, play games and watch YouTube videos and he can do this independently without my wife or me helping him. As a technology manager, I feel great looking at the next generation being so technologically savvy at a young age. They not only embraced technology, they fell in love with it. As a parent, I am worried as I watch my son sometimes interacts more with technology than with us parents.

The info-graphic below indicates a teacher’s perspective on the influence of technology on young students. Majority of the teachers employ some form of technology in class to connect with students. It becomes very apparent very quickly that teachers are competing with technology to get the student’s attention span. Students are very distracted in class once they have a tablet or a smart device in hand.

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We are teaching today’s kids based on traditional knowledge of how students need to be taught. Today’s young kids are developing new skills based on the environment around them. They are getting exposed to lots of information and are learning to process this vast amount of data and effectively multitask between different activities. It’s a skill that was not as important when I was growing up as its now. Human beings are constantly evolving based on the ecosystem they are in. The school has to recognize that and introduce programs that can effectively use technology to hone those skills.

As technology managers, the ability to recognize the dynamics of the ecosystem and adapt will determine the success of the business. A new age of customers will grow up with a new set of capabilities that we don’t have any historical data to prepare for. Tapping into their knowledge base will shape our decisions on how we hire, develop and launch new products.

I have to learn to use technology as a medium to be a parent to my son. I read from lots of books growing up and that was influenced by the ecosystem I lived in. I have to learn new ways to complement books with technology to prepare my kids for the new world.  Technology is evolving at a rapid pace – from computer, to smart phones to tablets to wearable devices and is enabling new ways of communication with each other. Resisting technology advances can be futile and as frustrating as it can be sometimes as a parent, its an aspect we have to learn to manage in the lives of our children.