The other day, Tess put on this strange voice and started babbling something about “eating paste” and that it was “acid free.” I asked her what in the heck she was talking about, and it turns out she was acting out a YouTube video that her nine-year old friend had shown her, one which, with an astounding adeptness I didn’t know my daughter possessed, she brought up to show me about 30 seconds after turning on the computer. It was a really stupid clip about eating glue stick in school, one in a series of stupid clips of some girl talking strangely and babbling nonsense. Funny to a nine-year old…silly to me. (Somewhat unsettling, actually…parentable moment.)
But anyway, here is the kicker. After we watched it about halfway through and I forced her to turn it off, she turns to me and says “Hey Dad. Can you show me how to make one of those video things?”
Next thing you know we’re visiting family over the weekend in Connecticut, and we’re surrounded by people with stories. The 92-year old boyfriend of my 81-year old step-mother, and my 81-year old brother-in-law, all of whom should write books. Anyway, out comes the video camera and Tess is hamming it up as reporter, asking them all questions, good questions (with a bit of coaching) and getting them to tell about their lives. She’s making video. She wants it on YouTube. Thank goodness the interviewees have little idea of what YouTube is.
Today when I was checking out Andy Carvin’s snippets from the NPR Summit, I heard Euan Semple mention that “we’re not sitting in the consumer channel anymore” when it comes to interacting with media. And I immediately thought about Tess. How cool is it going to be for her growing up with the ability to create and publish whatever floats her boat (as long as it’s not about paste.) And how nice that would be if she had some support to do that from the teachers at her school. (More on that later…)
Now, I keep thinking about my visit to Google last week to do the Teacher Academy keynote. What struck me was that almost all of the Googlers (Googleites?) had an open computer with them no matter where they were. I snuck a glance over at one woman who was sitting next to me as we watched a demo of Sketch-Up and noticed she had about three IM windows going and was typing away at some document. She wasn’t just consuming. It didn’t take much to realize that she wasn’t fooling around; this was work. And she was smiling…
My kids’ll get it, cause, like it or not, I’m their father. Wonder what it’s going to take for us to make every kid a “prosumer” as Don Tapscott calls it…
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