The first author who coined the term “digital native” was Mark Prensky in 2001. By “Digital natives” we understand children and young people who are native speakers of the digital language of digital devices, video games and the Internet. But in addition to their own language, they also have developed skills and competencies (usually self-taught) around these devices that amazes their own parents and educators.
It is the norm of today to find families in which the children have more knowledge and more skill (they are more agile in the processes and faster) in the technological and digital environment. We all have a nephew of 2 or 3 years who manipulates the phone and erases or installs applications with total normality; or that student who helps the teacher to configure the computer and the projector for presentations in the classroom; or that son who helps his mother surfing the Internet and selecting an item to buy online. Many situations like these occur daily in different contexts, but always with a common denominator: a child or adolescent teaching and guiding the adults around him.
As parents and educators, we must bear in mind that these digital skills do not come alone, but this generation of children has a set of common characteristics: cognitive differences when it comes to learning and communicating, experiential and active learning, a taste for interactivity and collaborative work, immediacy and high connectivity. It is a fact that children and young people appear with a broad understanding and intuitive knowledge on how to use technologies, simply because they have never known a world without the internet and without technological evolution.
But we must bear in mind that not all are advantages, several researches have found that although “digital native” students feel confident in their ability to use technology and to find information, they feel less confident to manipulate and use the information that they find (Evaluate, differentiate or synthesise). So it is vital to ensure that the skills and abilities with digital devices come hand in hand with the development of skills of information processing. We must guide and accompany in the effective use of tech tools; in the selection and synthesis of the data of interest, in the understanding and respect of the author rights or for example to be critical and reflective before any information that reaches them. To make that happen, parents of the age are suggested to take help from the parental control apps. Using it, parents can first have a look at what do their kids consume and latter based on the behavior of kids, they can instruct and guide them on how the information is selected, manipulated and synthesised. The use of the parental app is not limited to guidance only, but with any advanced app such as FamilyTime, parents can also take needed controls on what can they consume and what not. They can also manage their screen time as per their own preferences.
Altogether, in order to deal with the “Digital Natives”, parents are needed to be tech savvy too. So, what are you waiting for now? Get the app and be part of your kids’ world today!