Thursday, February 24, 2011

Technology geniuses. Technology challenged.

This one's for Brandon.

Here are things in technology that kids are good at: 

  • learning a new program
  • hacking past any blocking/filtering software
  • figuring out other people's passwords (especially default passwords)
  • navigating any new device
  • anything related to any social-anything, 
  • If it involves a way to communicate or to play a game, they can do it. 
Here are things they suck at:
  • emailing attachments
  • uploading anything to anyone 
  • spell checking
  • navigating through websites in a purposeful way
  • evaluating credible information
  • evaluating the safety of anything, anytime, anywhere


  1. I laughed out loud at "emailing attachments." Kids suck at that, really? Because that's something my mom and dad have trouble with. ;-)

  2. Additional Things They're Good At:
    * Finding funny/relevant/obnoxious/stupid/awesome websites or videos that about 85% of the time will, in fact, add something to the conversation around a skill, lesson, or text.
    * Complaining about technology
    * Texting through their sweaters
    * Dismantling a piece of technology
    * Using their printers (I mean, they must be good at this one: their printers are always out of ink! They must use them A LOT!)
    * Adding obnoxious typewriter sounds to a PowerPoint presentation
    * Arguing about the relative merits of different brands of mp3 players, cell phones or computers.
    * Documenting their day-to-day lives through cameras, Twitter, and Facebook.
    * Using social media to plan events, disseminate information, or help each other.
    * Finding the several thousand different versions of Google that exist: night Google, ninja Google, pirate Google, etc.
    * Turning the image on the computer screen upside down.
    * Adding a really ugly picture of a kitten to the desktop of a school computer, despite the actual "SETTINGS" menu and the right-click option to "Set as desktop" both being disabled.

    Additional Things They Suck At:
    * Signing up for a free web-based service, especially if it requires a username, password, and additional password/secret code from another source (like a teacher).
    * troubleshooting a web-based educational tool when it develops a snag, glitch or bug.
    * Seeing the applicability of a tool they're good at (like texting or facebook) in an academic or educational context.
    * using the Internet At Large to answer a simple question like "Well, but what does it mean when he says Gatsby's books are uncut? How was I supposed to know that?!" or "But what does the word 'lascivious' mean? How was I gonna know that?"
    * Formatting a Word document beyond MLA format. Ask them to create a two column, six row table so that one column contains quotes and the other column contains analysis? You'll get Venn Diagrams with clip art and random blank and/or blank gridded pages in between the content of their assignment.
    * Making a PowerPoint presentation that doesn't suck.
    * Learning honest-to-goodness material during a day in the computer lab.

  3. Texting through their sweaters, even! Hah!

    Anyway, that list can probably be generalized to any other topic of what kids are good at and what they suck at. What they are good at: Fun Stuff! What they suck at: Boring Stuff. This applies to me as well, actually.