Friday, April 30, 2010

Children of the 21st Century

One casualty of our municipal budget cuts this year is going to be the elementary school computer program. These children of the 21st century will grow up in a world that is ever more divided between the technological haves and the have-nots. The personal computer, and its high-tech spawn, will be central to much of what they do throughout their lives on whatever paths they happen to take. In their wisdom, during the annual belt tightening, this is what our public servants decided to cut. The computers.

I'm ok with that.

My kids are plenty familiar with computers. And they didn't learn it at school. Each school day already starts with me yelling at them to get off the computer because we're going to be late for school. Presumably the curriculum is more edifying than learning how to level-up your Vanquisher in anticipation of her inevitable confrontation with Ordrak. They may skip extended lessons on the proper flora for warding off back-yard zombie infestation. Still, I'm not sure what they are learning in computer class.

Isaac and Leo have grown up with mouse in hand. They're unsure what the "chan" button on the TV remote is for. The telephone eludes their understanding. We can blame the parents for that. They are comfortable with watching shows on iTunes and the subtleties of NetFlix streaming.

The virtues of the computer were discovered early. The pace of exploration has been rapid. My kids were quick to discover the endless video bounty of Star Wars, Lego, and Lego minfigs enacting scenes from Star Wars that awaited them on the internet.

There are hazards of childhood internet exploration. "Eat plasma you stuck up bitch!" - made a surprise appearance during a kindergarten-era game. We had a talk. Our concern isn't that they can't navigate the computer. It's that they can.

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