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Re: <nettime> lucky german jugend: null bock auf facebook
Flick Harrison on Tue, 17 Aug 2010 23:05:41 +0200 (CEST)

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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Maybe I'm the one with an outdated paradigm; if a computer is online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 

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