Digital Education

La Voz de Galicia – December 9, 2022 →

Cristina PatoThe other day, I heard on the radio Drew Faust (History Professor at Harvard University) talk about the fact that, in the United States, Generation Z (those born at the end of the 90s) no longer learns to write or read cursive (the handwriting with joined letters). And about what that means for their relationship with their predecessors because, according to Faust, that lack «deprives society from directly accessing their past,» and the need for a «translator.» A thought that made me ponder about what my sister Raquel, a school teacher and Quela’s mother–Quela being a ten-year-old girl–says: how difficult it is to adapt themselves to the digital education program that implants the digital book in classrooms. And about what it meant for Quela (who wrote short stories by hand) to suddenly go from paper to screen; and for Raquel, to daily guide her daughter so she could work with a tool that they have not yet learned to use. Quela went from coloring pencils and doing math by hand to word processors; from textbooks to the vast and dangerous ocean of search engines to get information on the web, without filters…

I ask her what this transition means, and my sister says that the problem is that there is no transition, that in her experience, it is the parents who cover that gap as best they can. Because, unlike the children, not all parents are digital natives, and that not all of them have the luxury of time (or the internet) to be able to watch what their children do during those hours they spend in front of a screen completing homework at home…And I wonder about the consequences for the children as they navigate aimlessly the post truth era, as they learn to learn in a digital life, and not in the other one, in the real one…

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