Firstly I have to say that the term digital native is not one that rings entirely true for me. As we know, students who have been born in the last ten or so years have not known life without mobile phones, internet, Google, video games and so on. That doesn’t mean that they actually know how to use these resources well.
However, at eight years of age, my niece is what we can term, for interests sake, a digital native. She’s a gamer, has an iPod touch and Skypes. But she’s also interested in learning other skills, such as knitting. She told me this morning that she’d like to “make stuff instead of buying stuff”.
I like the idea that she’s aware of consumerism and the power she has to change the ideal that she comes across in the media and at all of the birthday parties she’s envited to.
So today on the first day of the school holidays, my Mum has been teaching her how to knit. A lovely way to learn a skill and build on their loving relationship.
Sometimes I forget that children might be interested in what could be termed “old school” skills, like knitting, gardening or cooking. But one look last year at Junior Masterchef made me take notice that some children not just like, but excel at things like cooking. Today my niece showed me that she too can be a gamer, a 21st century learner as well as love to learn other skills “old school” as well.