At the risk of sounding like an Old Fuddy Duddy, it’s amazing how the daily lives of our children are so different from our own at their age, especially when it comes to education and information gathering. When I read in The Dallas Morning News about Grand Prairie elementary schools using iPods in the classroom to teach, I first thought it sounded like a waste of $70,000. But the students are paying attention. "I think it’s awesome because it’s easier to learn," said ten-year-old Kayeigh Guthrie. Back in the day, our low-tech version of using snappy songs and videos to reinforce concepts was called School House Rock – remember "Conjunction Junction?"
Our kids, even high school and college aged, don’t know how to use Mapsco books or folding maps – they just plug their destination into Mapquest.com or into the GPS device on their cellphone. And they wouldn’t be caught dead reading a paper newspaper – if it can’t be easily accessed online, they aren’t interested. College lecture notes aren’t taken with a pen into a spiral notebook, they are digitally recorded or typed into a laptop.
It’s no good bemoaning these changes, trying to tell them that they are missing out on lingering over the newspaper with a cup of coffee or learning to decipher a map when they might really need it. They won’t budge. I just hope their iPods play that old classic, "I’m just a bill, yes I’m only a bill…"