Children teaching parents and teachers about the latest high-tech device has become a cliche. The truth at the core of the cliche, however, doesn’t disappear with repetition. Occasionally, cartoons refresh that tired cliche by throwing a spotlight on the differences between digital natives–a.k.a. children–and digital immigrants–a.k.a. parents and teachers. Here are a few cartoons that enlivened the cliche for me and illustrate the distance between the gadget knowledge children have and the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that await those children in school.
The seeming unbridgeable gap between digital natives and immigrants is, of course, bridgeable just as children grow up and come to understand what motivated their parents to do what they did in raising them. But how best to build those bridges in and out of school remains contested. From getting rid of bricks-and-mortar schools to blended learning to integrating technology into daily lessons are just a few of the “solutions” to the “problem” of tax-supported public schools–a traditional social institution, not a business–responding to technological change. These cartoons spotlight the uneven progress to do exactly that.