Lessons from Dig­i­tal Na­tives

iPhone Life Magazine - - Editor's Message -

My neph­ews are dig­i­tal na­tives. Dur­ing a re­cent fam­ily re­u­nion, I ob­served just how nat­u­rally mo­bile tech­nol­ogy fit into th­ese 11- and 12-year-old boys’ lives. I heard them ban­ter about their fa­vorite games and even plot their next de­vice up­grade, in­clud­ing how to get the best trade-in value at Ra­dio Shack.

Born in the early 2000s, Luke and James knew how to use an iPhone by the time they were in kinder­garten. To­day, they own their own de­vices (Luke, an iPod touch; James, a Sam­sung tablet). Be­tween their sum­mer va­ca­tion ac­tiv­i­ties (a stren­u­ous com­bi­na­tion of ten­nis, tram­po­line-jump­ing, and gorg­ing on ice cream), they use their prized de­vices to keep in touch with friends, play games, del­uge Siri with ques­tions, and mimic dance moves on YouTube.

Although my neph­ews live on op­po­site coasts, they share a level of com­fort with mo­bile tech­nol­ogy I couldn’t have imag­ined at their age. As a mil­len­nial, I con­sulted my par­ent’s En­cy­clo­pe­dia Bri­tan­nica in­stead of Siri to find an­swers to my ques­tions. My in­tro­duc­tion to mo­bile tech­nol­ogy came in the form of a ba­sic flip phone, and the only game I played on it was Snake, in­stead of iPhone games with con­sole-level graph­ics and so­phis­ti­cated strate­gies. Change hap­pens quickly, and it’s im­por­tant for all of us to keep up.

When I asked Luke if he’d pre­fer hav­ing a TV or a mo­bile de­vice, he chose his iPod touch. His rea­son­ing: “I can do ev­ery­thing with it, and if I want to watch TV, I can just use an app to do that, too.”

New­found Op­por­tu­ni­ties

Al­ready, Luke sees his iDe­vice as a source of op­por­tu­ni­ties and ac­tiv­i­ties adults are ac­cus­tomed to find­ing else­where. While this may be sec­ond na­ture to the dig­i­tal gen­er­a­tion, many of us are still ad­just­ing to the huge stream of new pos­si­bil­i­ties our iPhones open up to us.

In this is­sue, we’ve fo­cused on an area that’s ex­tremely rel­e­vant to the mo­bile world—ed­u­ca­tion. Of the App Store’s 1.2 mil­lion of­fer­ings, ed­u­ca­tional con­tent is now the sec­ond most popular cat­e­gory of apps, ac­cord­ing to an­a­lyt­ics provider Statista. From iTunes U’s best dis­tance-ed­u­ca­tion cour­ses (see pg. 44) to apps that help you ac­quire a spe­cific skill (pg. 36), there are apps that al­low us to en­joy learn­ing dur­ing ev­ery phase of life.

Be­cause iPhones and iPads have in­tro­duced change so quickly to tra­di­tional ed­u­ca­tion, we’ve also taken the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore the im­pli­ca­tions of mo­bile tech­nol­ogy on child­hood devel­op­ment (pg. 62) and take in­ven­tory of the ef­fect of iPads in class­rooms across Amer­ica (pg. 48).

This is an im­por­tant is­sue, and we’re ex­cited to be shar­ing it with you. We’ll be wait­ing to hear about the new lev­els of wis­dom it helps you achieve.

Donna Schill Cleve­land

Edi­tor in Chief

iPhone Life mag­a­zine, donna@iphonelife.com

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