We are witnessing how the first generation is growing, familiar with the smartphone from early childhood. Technologies that seemed fantastic to their parents are familiar and convenient for them: a news widget instead of a newspaper or website, and an app for counting steps instead of the usual distance at the stadium.
Thousands of programs have been created by developers to facilitate our existence on the Internet and in everyday life. For example, youtube to mp3 online can convert videos into a format that is convenient for everyone, so that you do not part with your favorite music or podcasts.
1. Video as new instructions and visual imagination
It seems that while a generation that grew up on paper instructions needs a diagram in order to assemble an IKEA kitchen or a miniature Lego, our children have already become different. They do everything on YouTube – assembling designs, getting their hair cut and dyed, learning to use cosmetics, unpacking (and packaging). Statistics show that 85% of teens use YouTube consistently, with 80% of them claiming that video is a way for them to learn more about what they are interested in.
Reviews of cities, countries, vacation spots, clothes, books, schools, apps and educational platforms, universities, and even specialties – kids know where to find everything, from entertainment to activities. While you are reading this text, the child is already assembling the most complex lego with programming and connecting his control panel to the computer terminal. Ok, go!
The same ASMR videos amaze adults so much. Yes, it may be strange to watch from the side a person who watches the soap being cut. But given that anxiety is another constant companion of the modern adolescent, it may be worth turning a blind eye to your experience of this “weirdness.”
2. Voice control
They got ahead of us! While we are thinking about whether to drive a query into the search line or go to the site, your child has already asked a search engine or voice assistant what he needs. Voice input of commands is organic for the generation familiar with it from the moment they realized themselves. And if earlier it was possible to talk to mom’s phone, computer or speaker, today it is already cars, social networks, light switches, or artificial intelligence that control houses. “Alice, listen: show me the best route to Gatchina and tell me what awaits us on the way and where to refuel.”
And even without being ironic. For children who grow up with voice assistants from an early age, from the simplest to the most complex, voice control becomes a household habit. Children define voice assistants as friendly devices ready to help you.
Scientists still argue whether helpers give too much information to children easily and easily. For example, you no longer need to look at the minute hands – just ask the smart speaker what time it is. The younger ones are happy to use this, as well as the ability to find the desired video by voice, and not try to enter something into the search bar. What do children do with the help of voice assistants? More than 50% listen to music or fairy tales, stories, jokes, and so on. Slightly less than half are looking for information. 30% use them as calculators and translators.
3. Apps instead of a thousand words
Nowadays, everyone who started learning a foreign language bought a dictionary and a textbook, today many simply put two applications for children – a translator and a learning application. It will ask you to repeat expressions, teach new words and act out dialogues in pictures, comics, and in different voices.
A navigator instead of paper maps, online shopping instead of going to a shopping center, home delivery instead of a grocery around the corner, an electronic library instead of a real one, dating in Tinder, and not in a school cafeteria – in general, where there used to be specialties, people, need communication, today there is a button in the phone.
At the same time, which seems quite useful to parents, a child’s life in a smartphone is constantly accompanied by a million applications, the names of which will not tell parents anything: they replace each other very quickly, almost according to seasonal fashion. We are sure you have already heard about TikTok.
But the race for applications is not actually started by children, but by their parents, at least a third of whom already in 2012 installed applications for their children on smartphones and tablets. Half of them were purely entertaining, but about a third of parents said they put educational apps, and every fifth put both entertaining and educational apps.
4. Study online
The school is not yet ready to surrender many of its capabilities to the digital environment, but some progress has already taken place. Digital diaries, an electronic pass system, educational courses, circles, and even video lessons today supplement and change classical educational forms, making it possible to diversify theory with practice in an environment that is as close to real-life as possible. The opportunity to study on the Internet, remotely, using video lessons, is actually meaningful, does not essentially differ from studying from books; only the approaches have changed.
If earlier the educational path of a child developed linearly and with the participation of parents (school plus circles), now children are actively involved in how, where, and what they learn.
The school, on the other hand, is trying to adapt to what is happening, slowly starting to work with the big data of schoolchildren in order to learn to understand where and when children fail, in order to make programs more adaptive and convenient for teachers and children. So far, there is no particular breakthrough here, but the collection of big data, their processing, and their use in adapting programs is a very near future.
5. Game comprehension of the world
For many modern children, comprehension of the world began with their first game – “Minecraft”. Its current variations include various specifications, including educational ones: “Minecraft” with chemistry, economics, history, and mathematics is said to be able to awaken a serious interest in the subject in children. And maybe for admission to special classes and in the future – to study science. Who knows if a generation of scientists awaits us who will tell Science and Nature in an interview that their path to science began with a game?
Dozens of simpler and more complex tactile toys already incorporate game programming fundamentals. If for many parents the word “code” refers more to a lock on a suitcase, then children begin to code from the first toy as if jokingly. And without even thinking that they are doing something that literally a couple of decades ago was special knowledge and almost fantasy.