Nettime mailing list archives

Re: <nettime> lucky german jugend: null bock auf facebook
Flick Harrison on Tue, 17 Aug 2010 23:01:48 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> lucky german jugend: null bock auf facebook

I've been teaching digital art to 6-12 year olds for almost 10 years and I'm constantly amazed at how adept they are at finding the most useless things to do on the computer...  I mean this in a good way.

They love figuring out how to zoom in on the screen, make it negative, etc.  The mechanism itself is like a toy, if they find something that makes a noise (like hitting all the keys at once so it beeps in distress) they will do it repeatedly.

But there's nothing between that very healthy, de-mystifying / formal experimentation and the next step which is internalizing the spectacle, i.e. playing games on the web or watching youtube videos. 

For instance, kids have a very hard time understanding the difference between their desktop, an application window, a browser window, their own hard drive, a remote application like gmail.  Until it's explained carefully, and even then it's difficult, they don't really understand that certain things are "out there" and certain things are "in here."  Maybe I'm the one with an outdated paradigm; if a computer is online 24-7 then maybe there is no here there.  It's not a typewriter.

I blame cloud computing!  If kids grow up with that, it will be very hard to convince them of the benefits of local storage.  Google is like the library to them, or the street.  It's just there and the places it takes you are in some way part of it, rather than discrete entities.

In fact, one thing that's particularly confusing at first is the idea of typing in an address in the browser address bar.  Almost every kid, when you tell them to go to a certain website, will type the address in a google search.  There's an enormous amount of floundering when you try to explain that they can go straight there, without using google to find it.  You know where it is, why search for it?

Or if I ask, which web browser do you use, most of them say "google."  Now, of course, google DOES have a web browser, but they still said that when they were using safari, i.e., netscape, firefox.

Given, I'm teaching an extra-curricular art class, so the moment I drop out of clown / entertainment mode and into passionate teacher mode they attempt to tune out and resist knowledge or anything other than Fun.  Heh, it's lucky I don't have a rubber mallet in my hand each time a kid says, "Are we going to do something or are you just going to talk?"


* FLICK's WEBSITE & BLOG: http://www.flickharrison.com 

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: http://mail.kein.org/mailman/listinfo/nettime-l
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} kein.org