Kids these days take it for granted that they can have a mobile phone, even children in junior school. Modern kids love mobile technology and having their own phone is a status symbol. Wherever you see kids in public, especially teens, you can guarantee that a large percentage of them will be using a phone.
However, they are not using their phones so much for calls, these kids text, Facebook and play games. They use their phones for their music too – whether they’ve loaded the phone with tracks or use an app like Spotify, they are plugged in and bopping along as they go about their business.
Or their thumbs are moving at the speed of light while they type complex messages in a language that we parents are hard pushed to understand! It’s so easy to get caught up in seeing kids using mobile phones as a negative aspect of life in the Digital Age – let’s take a look at some of the more positive angles.
A recent survey by Barclays suggested that many small to medium sized businesses believe that young people lack the skills needed for entry level jobs. Business leaders reckon that today’s school leavers struggle to adapt to the workplace because of an inability to perform simple tasks. Moreover they are reckoned to be lacking basis skills such as punctuality, manners and the ability to hold a conversation. This is indeed a damning perspective on today’s young people – the adults of the future.
According to the communications watchdog, Ofcom, six year olds understand digital technology better than adults do. This is a generation growing up with YouTube and Spotify, they learn to use smartphones and tablets before they can talk properly. They are growing up with a fundamentally different communications habit from older generations.
Ofcom has created a DQ (digital quotient) test and invited 800 children and 2000 adults to take the test, designed to measure awareness and self-confidence with gadgets from tablets to smart watches, 4G mobile networks and mobile apps and internet.
The findings were pretty stunning. Digital understand peaks between the ages of 14 and 15 with a DQ of 113 while, on average, 6 – 7 year olds scored higher than 45 – 49 year olds. This is good news – our children will need these skills as they grow up and the world around them continues to change at an ever increasing pace.
The future is digital and our children will need an integrated relationship with technology in order to lead their day to day lives. When it comes to future jobs, these are also likely to be technology based, so getting a good grounding in modern technology is essential to compete in the future workplace.
Schooling and education is becoming more technology based – those kids who don’t yet have access to a computer and internet at home (and there still are some) will be at a serious disadvantage when it comes to homework. Technology is an essential part of daily life nowadays and the kids who have access to it are those who are likely to be the confident leaders in the future.