First Grade, iPads, and the New Language of Six-Year-Olds

We’re driving across town, and my six-year-old and I have the following conversation:

“Mom, I uploaded two new apps to the iPad they gave me in computer time today.”

 (Note: I don’t have an iPad.  I don’t even have a phone that connects to the internet.)

“Really?  What apps?” 

“Well, one is for learning words, and the other is a game you play with another person. And the other person is really a computer program!”

“That sounds fun,” I say, but I’m still wondering why my daughter uses an iPad and I don’t.  She’s uploading apps, and I’m not sure I would know how. 

I remember my first grade year.  This language of apps and uploading didn’t exist in my vocabulary.  Many words my six-year-old knows didn’t exist when I was a first grader:  Google, Facebook, MP3’s, DVR’s, DVD’s, Internet, and even words like microwave and cell phones never came out of my mouth.  In fact, we didn’t have a home computer until after I was in college.  Even more shocking is that I dated my husband without the use of cell phones or texting.  We didn’t own mobile phones back then.

My college students always ask me how that worked.  “How did you find each other during the day?  How did anybody know where you were?”  They stare at me, mouths agape, breathing rapidly in terror as they imagine a world without texting.  

“Well, a person might leave a message on an answering machine on a ground line phone or write a note with an actual pencil and post it to the dorm room door.”

It’s inconceivable to them.

I wonder–in forty years–what someone might ask my daughter about life in 2011.  You used iPads?  How old-fashioned!  How did you ever manage?

What words will a future generation speak that have not yet come into existence? 

Journal:  Does it shock you that first-graders use iPads and upload apps as part of a school day?

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0 Responses

  1. I feel like a dinosaur in a world of labradoodles. I also have a phone that does not connect to the internet (a very simple Tracfone)…AND I don't keep it turned on all the time.

    I guess I'm a bit of a nut, but I like having some time to myself and don't really want people to have access to me every moment of the day. Conversations with family and friends seem more meaningful and it leaves some quiet time to talk to the Man Upstairs. 🙂

    Sounds like your daughter is off to a great start in first grade. An iPad seems like an expensive learning tool, but I'm sure today's children can use them effectively and learning will be enhanced.

  2. Heather…I delighted in reading this. Yes, I came from the cave man era myself….We had a private line when many of my friends were on party lines. We didn't have computers…we had slide rules in high school chemistry and math classes. When we finally got a computer during the time I was homeschooling our children, I learned everything I could about it so I could be up to speed for their sakes. Now I own an IPAD and an android phone. Guess that makes me a hip grandmother!!! But still….my children even find it weird that we didn't have all those gadgets way back when. Thanks for sharing…this was great!