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Children and Technology: The Disappearing Digital Divide

A new study by Latitude Research reports that kids can predict the future of technology.  Today, children don’t neatly divide their virtual interactions from their "real world" experiences. For them, these two realms continue to converge as technologies become more interactive, portable, connected and integrated.

Children and TechnologySome of the findings in the study got me thinking about the general topic of kids and technology.  Technology is becoming fully “integrated” into the daily lives of many children -- from constant social interaction through Facebook, online games and text messaging, it’s easy to see why the digital divide is disappearing.

Years ago I logged on -- through early BBS systems then later to Internet IRC, games and websites --and there was a distinct divide between online and offline (or physical and virtual).  At that time, of course, I didn’t have the mobile devices that kept me online 24/7 or the sheer speed at which data can be transferred. Today’s kids do and many carry a virtual technology-driven world in their pockets.

When it comes to discussions about kids and technology, I am often the odd-Mom out. I don’t agree with the general observations and somewhat stereotypical perception of today’s digital children. I do believe that computers and technology empower children. 

It’s not all about text messaging and being social.  When kids want to know the answer to something they just Google it; they read news, find online communities and experience different cultures through online social interactions.

Today’s children are not afraid to sit at a computer and experiment or try new applications or even learn graphic design or how to program at an early age.

According to the study, "Children’s Future Requests for Computers and the Internet," kids are predicting that the future of media and technology lies in better integrating digital experiences with real-world places and activities.

There is no doubt in my mind about that statement. If today’s children are left to guide the direction of tomorrow’s technology, the "digital divide" will be nothing but an irrelevant phrase.

Follow Vangie Beal on Twitter said on October 16, 2013 08:28 AM PDT

The virtual world can be a dangerous place for children these days. Sure a lot of knowledge is in reach for children, but also a lot of dangers are on the lure. We should be very careful if children have a free pass in the virtual world. Think about child abusers who try to lure children in to sexual handlings on some online communities, often pretending they are young children as well. I am curious about the future.

Kim said on February 11, 2013 08:41 AM PST

Where did you get this photo of the boy with headphones? Thanks

By    April 10 2014 05:27 AM PDT

It is a photo of my son.

Testking 70-640 said on January 23, 2012 23:32 PM PST

Really some times children amaze by their questions because their source of information,not before and we are going to create digital era generation.

Jewel Jubic said on January 03, 2012 01:29 AM PST

Today the kids are getting prone to the virtual world and in future too they will get addicted to this world.

Daisy said on December 14, 2011 21:16 PM PST

I agree with you Vangie of what you've got say, now kids much smarter than before and more independent............that's nice

bilal said on November 10, 2011 03:08 AM PST

its very interesting to gain knowledge.....................................

Sarfraz said on November 04, 2011 04:22 AM PDT

thank you for the story it was amazing it will ralley inspire childern across the globe.

NoY said on October 29, 2011 08:36 AM PDT

Thank you very much for sharing and great work. I got something from this article for my son.

Edward said on September 23, 2011 22:59 PM PDT

hi there, its very interesting to read the post for the children technology. Thanks for sharing

build backlinks said on August 26, 2011 09:05 AM PDT

Sounds good...looking forward to see more of your work.

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