This weekend my wife and I are taking care of a friend’s 10 year old daughter, and in just 24 hours it has been a mind opening opportunity to see how she uses/absorbs technology among other things- to a 10 year old, it seems like everything is fascinating and worth exploring (where do we lose that feeling?).

The current item of occupation is her Canon PowerShot A95 digital camera, something she has had likely for a month. It is amazing to watch her manipulate and click through what is an amazing array of iconic menu of movie shooting options (that can be displayed in something like 15 languages), and the speed and flexibility she whizzes around. In fact, as she was engrossed in shooting 90 second digital movie clips of our dog, she showed me how she can take a still photo of Cadu, and then in the camera, record a voice over narration. When connected to a computer, this is transferred as a QuickTime clip. And she is pushing away at the menu buttons, editing the clip in the camera.

Think about this- in a nutshell, in a compact consumer camera, she has the tools to do digital storytelling, and in the moment.

More than that, when I asked her how she learned to use the digital camera– did she say, “I read the manual” or “I followed a click and read online tutorial” or even “my parents showed me”? No.

She just shrugged and continued clicking buttons at a rapid pace.

It’s obvious she is running on intuition, guesswork, exploration, curiosity, desire to learn, not fixed recipe formulated, instructional designed steps marked with precise outomes objectives and goal statements.

This is the world higher education is not even ready for, not even remotely. A tectonic shift is on its way ready to learn by exploration and what are we ready to offer? Click-and-read hypertext inside closed, stilted learning management systems.

Oh, to be 10 and curious.

The post "A Real Technologist" was originally dropped like a smoking hot potato at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2005/05/a-real-technologist/) on May 13, 2005.

1 Comment

  • DReb

    Alan,

    Once again you are “pushing” my mind inside out. Your reflections/comments about the 10 yr. techno explorer has me dazed and awestruck.

    Being as I live in the world of “higher” education and have 3 “Click-and-read hypertext online courses inside a closed and stilted learning management system you challenge me once again to move.

    Okay, I pick up the “dropped white cloth” challenge from the shrugged shoulders of a 10 year old videographer!

    Ultreya! Onward and upward!

    –DReb (with the red shoes once on again!)