There is simply no way to avoid the important role that
Internet-based technology will play in our children's futures. The
American school system, developed more than a century ago, is now
moving (too slowly, many experts say) towards a technology-based
educational paradigm, reflecting the U.S. Department of Labor's
estimate that today's children will have 10 to 14 jobs by age 38,
all requiring technological fluency. Our children have adapted to
technology that wasn't around when we were children and will likely
work with technology that hasn't yet been invented in their future
Parents and schools need to move out of their comfort zones and
embrace Internet-based technology as we march towards the high-tech
world of the future.
Setting up an at-home framework
It seems that every other day parents are warned of the dangers
of online predators, of the enormous role that text messaging and
online networking is starting to play in our children's lives. And
yes, too much time spent online can isolate kids. When Internet
time is limited, however, and when kids are well briefed on
Internet safety and use, time spent online serves as a great link
between children and their peers and the wider world of
information. Research shows that kids who are social online are
usually just as social offline. Introverted kids can use social
networking sites to find their voice and gain a group of
like-minded kids who share their interests. And every child
benefits from healthy connections with kids around the world in
online discussion forums and bilingual chat groups.
A few tips:
n Organize your family photos online and create a slideshow with
funny captions and music at www.slide.com.
• From courses in everything from Podcasting to How-To to Create
a Garage Band Recording Studio Workshops, the Apple Computer Store
on North Michigan Avenue is the place to go for high-tech, fun
learning. An outstanding variety of free workshops and fee-based
courses is taught in the second-level classroom area. Take a course
together-the perfect opportunity to bond with your seemingly
forever-connected teen. For course listings, visit www.apple.com/retail/north
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