Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Why I need to retire early

I have been thinking about my preschool child recently and her ability to use the computer. My first grader also liked the computer from a time that she could barely talk - and couldn't use the potty at all. For both of them, once they learned to use the mouse, they were good-to-go and could learn just about any game on NickJr.com.

I, however, did not grow up with computer games, really. We had Atari, but only about 3 games (my Babyboomer parents really couldn't see the point in paying $20 for new games, but that's a whole other story). Our games, however, were not educational. Or if they were, they were not fun.

Fast forward 30 years and I am trying to learn database software. It's really not sinking in and I have to write all the directions down for any little thing I need to do. It's frustrating, because I'm used to things coming relatively easy for me.

I imagine that 20 years from now, when my kids enter the workforce, I will be a dinosaur. Because they can learn so much now from their computer games, there brains will just be hard-wired differently and they will be able to "get it" easier and quicker. Instead of facilitating seminars on what the future looks like for marketing - I will be conducting lectures for history buffs who are fascinating that there were people born before cable television existed.

I imagine that I will be the equivalent to today's grandma who keeps breaking the remote control and refuses to give up her rotary phone.

"Back in my day, we didn't have those fancy-shmancy video games. All we had were Barbies and Stars Wars figurines."


Anonymous said...

It's not that you're a dinosaur, it's that you're not a software developer.

I'll guarantee that in 20 years, there will be plenty of people who still have no idea how to use a database.

My fear is that the current generation is becoming used to learning being entertaining and that they are not learning to appreciate the payoff that comes with something that is difficult.

There is something fulfilling about reading The Odyssey in close to its original form. You start to appreciate the song that runs throughout, the story written in a way you've never read, etc.

Anonymous said...


On the same note, when teaching in a college setting, it's frustrating for me when the students don't engage unless it's "fun."


Anonymous said...

and we liked it!

- mr. shark attack.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, that was a good one.

Anonymous said...

pretty funny that mom signed her anonymous comment!