Parenting the digital generation

Published: July 22, 2011

It is normal now days to see very young children in Pakistan confidently operating technology, possessing cell phones and using social media. A seventh grader can multi tasking; constantly uses SMS to communicate, spending a lot of time online, staying connected with people through the social media and surfing the net and checks out brainpop.com to get homework help while simultaneously listening to his/her iPod.

Many young people have blogs by the age of 13-14 years now. So, even if their essays or stories do not receive a good grade in class, or their ideas and thoughts are not entertained at home, they still have the opportunity to voice themselves, publish their work and attract wider audiences.

I often find myself arguing with my own teenager, and she replies back:

“But mama, what is wrong? I bring straight As in all my terminal and final exams.”

Hmmm… does not leave much to argue for.

But still, I often tend to think I never worked this way. How can this work for her?

I find myself thinking of the time, not that far back in childhood, when the evening began with Sohail Rana’s “Sang Sang Chaltey Rehna” on PTV, followed by all of us siblings sitting around our dining table with Abbi, my father who would supervise our homework and test preparations. The sound of Raza Ali Abdi of BBC London would be the signal to pack up. Abbi would listen to the news and after that we would go back to watching “Nilaam Ghar,” “Kasoti,” or “Fifty Fifty,” all together, without fighting for the remote control or distracted by phone calls or messages from friends, and not restless to update our status on Facebook, or changing channels (there was only PTV)!

Why can’t my kids have the same schedule?

After all, I was successful! Despite how successful we were, the reality is, a lot of our childhood practices seem badly failed in the 21st century. These developments, including gadgets, importance of communications, the difference between who is connected and who is not, alongside who is literate and who is not, have become important factors. They are here to stay, multiply with time, and continue to impact our lives and the new generation, and the decisions that impact them.

Working in the education and development sector, I talk to these tech savvy, multi-tasking, youths regularly. Despite being successful, they are often criticised by their families or teachers for their lifestyles, study and socialising habits. One disgruntled youth complained that his dad refused to let him work as an internet content writer, and only wanted him concentrate on his studies. The young people of today learn and operate in a very different manner than their counterparts of the past.

I often find myself counselling them, working hard to remove feelings of disapproval and explaining that dedicated teachers don’t mean ill. They are the biggest and the most genuine well-wishers of these young people.

We all have this innate, endless desire to see replicas of us in our children!

One mother who is educated and also a teacher, shares her confusion. Her daughter is connected with people around the world, and she thinks it is unsafe and a waste of time. Talking to this girl, it appears, she is an active blogger, and shares valuable social and political perspectives with a global audience. She also facilitates online projects for young people globally. There is nothing wrong here! Just that mom could not connect to the fact that there are different learning needs now in a closely connected world. Mom grew up and went to school in an era with no technology, but now is raising children who are digital natives – a generation that opened their eyes with a range of digital tools and applications.

Let us seriously think about these primary or middle school kids who will be going into jobs around the year 2026, and probably retiring in 2075.

They will eventually grow up and be a part of that big, constantly changing world that is completely unpredictable. The world has gone through a dramatic change in the past five decades. There are many reasons for this – technology, globalisation, media, over population, war, terrorism, economy – the list goes on.

Pakistan, with a dominating population of people between the ages of 14-35, is facing the challenge of supporting our youth to be active and informed members of the 21st century.  Parents and teachers are the greatest influence for young people responsible for teaching and grooming them.

There is an urgent need to understand and reach out to these young people and prepare them for their future, and not for our past.

We can only do so by making a conscious effort to trust them, include them in decision-making processes, and above all, teach them to make good choices. These young people need creative learning spaces and opportunities so they learn to solve problems unknown. Their future requires them to be connected to the world, have the ability to continually change themselves and be flexible enough to be life-long learners.

Farah S Kamal

Farah S Kamal

An education and development consultant, who is currently leading the iEARN programs in Pakistan. Photography is her hobby and passion and she tweets @fskamal (twitter.com/fskamal)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • parvez

    Nicely and clearly worded article on this really interesting topic. The advice given in the end is spot on.Recommend

  • Dr. Amyn Malik

    Very nicely written!Recommend

  • Javeria Mahmood

    very well written article and very beautifully discussed a very serious issue….. we treat our youngsters according to our childhood….. now its a time to change….. all the best authorRecommend

  • KolachiMom

    Very well worded! Exactly the line of thinking we should all have with regard to the present generation.Recommend

  • Hira

    Refreshing! Most parents are constantly chastiing their kids for not being “good enough” resulting in low self esteem and even sel loathing. Parents must realize that children are not their property… they are simply their guardians. Khalil Gibran said something eloquent to this effect that I cannot remeber right now.Recommend

  • globalnomad

    @Javeria Mahmood: Glad that a mom shared my views.Recommend

  • http://komalali10.blogspot.com/ Komal Ali

    It’s about time that parents let kids grow up on their own after providing them proper guidelines.
    This is an exceptionally good article discussing a very important issue in our part of the world.

    Kudos!Recommend

  • Faryal Hasan

    Ma’am, you have addressed the issue in a very appropriate way. The youth today do know how to use their freedom, provided that they are given the right guidance. Parents should guide them and then, repose their trust in them. A great piece of writing. Recommend

  • http://www.nooruddins.com Nooruddin Muzzaffar

    Awesome read. Fabulously written. Yes, the need of the hour is to encourage and learn alongside so that we can walk shoulder-to-shoulder with any other world citizen. The idea that kids learn only at school, or get information only from teachers, or parents or books is a thing of the past, indeed. Now, we have to accept the change and make a proactive effort to stay ahead.Recommend

  • Faizan Karsaz

    Bravo Farah !! I couldn’t have said it better. These “Screenagers” are undeniably different. They are authors of blogs, designers of web sites, and developers of ring tones. They have created an entire language of their own using abbreviated terms such as LOL (laugh out loud), BRB (be right back), POS (parent over the shoulder), MIRL (meet in real life) and BTDT (been there, done that). The bottom line is that these students learn and comprehend in a way that is foreign to many of us, and, as a result, they often feel disconnected from traditional teachers and schools of yesteryear.

    Now that we know more about the digital generation, is it possible as educators that we need to rethink who we are? We must re-evaluate the practice of teaching and learning and equip our students with the necessary tools to help them advance in this digital age. Acknowledging who these students are and meeting them on their current playing field will bridge the digital gap and connect us all to the 21st Century. John Dewey, a well-known educational reformer, says it best, “If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.”Recommend

  • Ali

    Very nice, at present children can survive without food but can’t with out techonology.Recommend

  • Dr Nazir Mahmood

    Interesting piece of writing. It captures the challenges both parents and kids face nowadays. It truly transported me to the good old days of the seventies of Sohail Rana’s Kalyun ki Mala and Ghazala rafique’s Hamari Shaam. Right, then we were limited to PTV and probably had more patience to stay with just one channel. Today’s kids have more options as Farah has pointed out, resulting in quick jumping from one to another. Each age has its peculiarities and styles of learning, provided learning is taking place. Social media just for the sake of keeping engaged is probably as useless as in our age some people were hooked to digest reading or kept watching Sultan Rahi movies.
    Updating status can be an addiction and it should should not be confused with good learning. Ultimately if something is contributing to our becoming good human being, it’s worth it, if it is just for fun or keeping engaged we need to think twice about it.
    Thanks Farah for bringing this up for discussion, keep writing.Recommend

  • http://yahoo Zainab Mohsin

    fabulous and a very engrossing writeup!! plus the idea shared is of grave significance…Recommend

  • Aqib Malik

    Ma’am you have described this thing very clearly and in a very appropriate way. Really good..Recommend

  • Minhas Tejani

    A very interesting and relevant topic. The article has taken me down the memory lane. Hope the parents and kids can get the benefit from the rich insights by the author. Recommend

  • Faeza Jamshed

    Farah,
    its a great review on THEN and NOW.
    i dont know why parents living in this age and time have difficulties in dealing with tech savvy kidos. it was a very smooth transition for us as parents.thank god we didnt have any issues regarding this.:)Recommend

  • Farah Kamal

    @Dr Nazir Mahmood: Great comments!!! Parents understanding and bridging this digital divide is important so they can guide them for meaningful use of technology.Recommend

  • http://www.headway.com.pk Mobeen Tejani

    “Change is the only thing permanent” I think the way the challenge of change has been put up in this article specially with reference to Pakistan shows the caliber of the writer (Farah apa) and her deep insight on the contemporary issues.

    It’s also important to note that apart from the challenge there is indeed a big opportunity as well and it’s great to see that Farah apa has talked about the solutions as well in the article which I always feel missing in the media debates.Recommend

  • aizaz bokhari

    i certainly agree with it. there is a level of understanding which needs to be developed, both, by the parents and the children of today. parents need to realize that the time has changed. and their kids will have to adjust with it. technology is not a distraction at all, provided that it be used pragmatically and sensibly. and their children need to make sure that they are not going to let their parents’ education go in vain. how about this, draw a line between whats healthy and whats unhealthy and show the consequences for both. matter resolved.Recommend

  • Peter Copen

    Well done, Farah. We need more articles like this to further support and empower our children in this “new digital age’. I look forward to more of your writings and insights.Recommend

  • Farah Kamal

    @Peter Copen: Thankyou for your appreciation and encouragement, I definitly could do with it. You have always been an inspiration, for all that i have been able top contribute back. Recommend

  • Farah Kamal

    @aizaz bokhari: that is why I insist on; teaching children and students to make the right choices and training them to make sound decisions.Recommend

  • M Zeeshan Shamshad

    That’s the fact, most of our parents, teachers and also schools managements are avoiding looks from. Specially the task is for the teachers and school managements to make the teaching/ learning process more digital and connected with the modern techniques. Parents will automatically have to accept the changes. Recommend

  • Varda Shahid

    A very articulate piece. It’s encouraging to see parents taking a genuine interest in what their child is sharing with the rest of the world. It would be nice to see some humility on the childrens’ part as well who should be reciprocal of such efforts. As parents pick up the LOLs and ROFLs, their interest is usually met with derogatory responses or seen as a breach of privacy. It’d be interesting to see teenagers trying to experience what their parents enjoyed when they were young. Such joys are clearly evident as we youtube Fifty Fifty or catch a classic penned by Bajiya.

    I’m glad you pointed out that good upbringing is at the heart of this matter and the only way to take this learning process forward is with mutual respect and the eagerness to learn.

    Miss you :)Recommend

  • nadia syed

    ok this is a very attractive blog chosen by u and um glad that u raised the voice of millions.This is actually a serious issue of living in a digital world and couping with soo many issues and concerns for the next generation.Recommend

  • Beth Trudell

    This is an excellent article. The most important point is urging parents and educators to try to understand and appreciate teens’ activities, and to communicate and listen to each other’s point of view.
    The future employers of these teens are looking for people who can think critically and act differently. They don’t want the “yes people” of past generations. To become employable, teens must be technologically aware and divers thinkers. As Malcolm Forbes said, “Diversity is the act of thinking independently together.” This is what these young people are doing.Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/fundam3ntal Shahrukh Mughal

    Hello!
    1so of all congratulations.. I totally agree with u on this issue that in this dynamic world there r only 2 inspiring factors Parents & Teachers who have the power to up bring positive change in the future generations.

    It is important 4 teachers & parents 2 realize how very powerful they really are in the lives and development of children. With one word a teacher can crush the aspirations and creativity of a child, or make her hate a subject forever. Conversely a teacher can elevate the hopes n dreams of a child, empower her, n make her love a subject for a lifetime. Many teachers & parents don’t realize that their actions n words make deep, lasting impressions, n can in essence, reach far into the future and beyond.

    i want to quote Albert Einstein:

    “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

    Even All Mighty Allah emphasis on teaching and deliver knowledge to others.

    Im v greatful for Farah that she is doing a wonderful job in Pakistan to bring about positive change and i wish her success in her mission.

    Kind Regards,
    SKRecommend

  • Tahir Javed

    An interesting piece. Thought provoking! I find myself agreeing with much of what the writer says, for example:

    “There is an urgent need to understand and reach out to these young people and prepare them for their future, and not for our past.”

    And,

    “These young people need creative learning spaces and opportunities so they learn to solve problems unknown.”

    However, on closer look and a little critical thought, much of the stuff isn’t really new. Alvin Toffler has been saying this over the last half century; John Dewey’s thoughts (as noted by Fizan Karsaz) are along the same lines. Indeed in principle it has been always like that. The only crucial difference, in my opinion, is the tremendous pace at which change is happening today. That’s what makes it difficult for adults to understand and adjust to. The pace of change is just not fast – it’s accelerating. Perhaps it will take a while (a generation’s lifespan perhaps) for us to understand this. It’s already started. We (the adults) are not that dumb. Just give us a little time and space. We’ll be OK. Just as the adult writer and (mostly) adult readers of this blog, other older folks have now started ‘ smelling the coffee and waking up.’

    However, despite all this concern with change, we must understand that core values of a society do not change so easily- they are more enduring. Being honest, trustworthy, reliable, showing respect to others, caring, sharing, loving, and other values are going to stay. It’s precisely because of this, values provide the needed counterbalance to change in other spheres of life.

    The final word: While preparing our kids for their future, we should be giving them opportunities and experiences to learn and practice values. Recommend

  • zainab azmat

    This article literally summarizes the argument that Pakistani nation is having at the moment in all homes. I believe we owe it to our coming generations that we equip them with the best possible tools for future. well done Farah.Recommend

  • Muhammad Rashid

    The article addresses the real issue. An eye-opner for most of the parents and educators.Recommend

  • Fatima Rawjani

    very nice article.. you are definitely right about how technology has seeped in to the daily schedules of a teenager and changing how they operate their lives.. I never thought technology could change the whole meaning of how kids are brought up but it has….!!!!Recommend

  • http://www.animaction.com clifford cohen

    a very important topic. children have the right to access. children have the right to participate. there could be a fear of the unknown from parents, or a lack of control. kids are the early adopters and we need to support and encourage our children to take an active role in the world. in doing so, we will have responsible and active citizens on our hands. isn’t this what we want? let’s keep the conversation going please!Recommend

  • http://www.alqayam.org Syed Mohammad Mehdi

    Dear Farah,
    its an excellent expression of thoughts and reality. It is indeed a generation Gap. But correctly mentioned that parents who understand this can actually help students to prosper Recommend

  • Abdul Majeed

    This article gave both a glimpse in our past and a peep to our future. Written in a delightful tone, this piece presents us a rare invitation to pause for a moment, think and reflect in this fast paced world and to consider where we’ve come from and where we’re headed. I felt the article spoke to me directly as I feel exactly the same both as a parent and as an educator. I think most parents and educators will find it really thought provoking and interesting. Good one Farah! Recommend

  • Fauzia Maung Khuhro

    A ‘must read’ for parents and grandparents in order to understand the difference in values and attitudes of the young and to be able to speak and understand their language in order to remain close to them.Recommend

  • Sarah Donald

    It was a brilliant presentation and i believe that what you said id very true that Digital Natives are used to receiving information really fast.They like to parallel process and multi-task.They prefer their graphics before their text rather than the opposite. They prefer random access (like hypertext). They function best when networked. They thrive on instant gratification and frequent rewards. They prefer games to “serious” work and you have done with everything very well i think you many aspects quite clear.Recommend

  • Eve Smith

    Well done Farah! As someone who teaches with technology, it is great to hear a fellow educator, who is also a mother, encouraging us to learn and adapt. I love your introduction to the idea of life long learning as we all have to grapple with the fact that life is “moving forward and not back” at a faster rate than before and we need to constantly learn new things to keep up. Recommend

  • Ammar Tahir

    V nice topic and v nicely depicted.

    The things are really different for the children living in small towns/villages because their parents may not be essentially educated or
    the kids mostly don’t have the proper education/information at which gadget they are heading to…Recommend

  • Naveed Ali

    Hi, it is ultimate reality….It is well written and facets modern world and it is wake up call to all old timers.How long we can run away from it? It has to be practiced and follwed.Recommend

  • ali

    i read the whole article.
    but after that i wondered that you only brought to light only the things we already know about. i mean hell yaaa. we all need to give attention towards the growing generation. but i was wondering you gave a list of problems but also should have given solutions.Recommend

  • http://voiceofasilentbird.blogspot.com Syeda Sarah Rizvi

    This article occupies a great significance in the modern era.
    The parents of modern age should understand the matter with open minds.They need to comprehend that the world is revolutionizing with a rapid pace so in order to pave a way for successful life their children had to step with the world.Recommend

  • No

    Excess of everything is bad. If children are wasting time texting, then they should be stopped. Recommend

  • Farah Kamal

    @ali: Thankyou for your comments, I would suggest you reread the last parapgraph that indeed gives some ideas on approaching and solving the issues.Recommend

  • Norveen Merchant

    It is very interesting topic. There is no right or wrong every one is different and have different approach. Challanges always arise specialy being a parent I approach what is an negotiatable behavior which is in a limit and make child and parent both happy… :)Recommend

  • http://deleted Tubinaz

    Really wonderful, something really important to be discussed, ,as we under estimate our youth, time has changed and we have to accept it open heartily and must learn from each other, age is no barrier…Thanks for sharing ..Really A food for thought:)Recommend

  • Tubinaz

    Really wonderful, something really important to be discussed, ,as we under estimate our youth, time has changed and we have to accept it open heartily and must learn from each other, age is no barrier…Thanks for sharing ..Really A food for thought:)
    5 minutes ago · LikeRecommend

  • Hassan Saeed

    I surely could not agree more. The idea of confining your younger ones to the course isn’t going to work in this era specially with the growing changes, as you mentioned. Schools and teachers need to play a part here by emphasizing on these skills, implement them in schools and above all, call Parent-Teacher meetings and make the parents understand the importance of globalization and how effectively it can promote the character of the student.
    Very well written. I appreciate it. Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/fundam3ntal Shahrukh Mughal

    In this dynamic world there are only two inspiring factors parents and teachers who have the power to bring positive change in the future generations. It is important for both to realize how very powerful they really are in the lives and development of children. With one word a teacher can crush the aspirations and creativity of a child, or make her hate a subject forever. Conversely a teacher can elevate the hopes and dreams of a child, empower her, n make her love a subject for a lifetime. Many teachers & parents don’t realize that their actions and words make deep, lasting impressions, and can in essence, reach far into the future and beyond.

    I want to quote Albert Einstein:

    “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

    Thankyou Farah for this wonderful write up

    SKRecommend

  • Randy Hatfield

    Very timely! Preparing youth with skills to adapt and learn is far more important than stuffing their heads with facts. The wave of the future in education is this! Nurturing and helping our children balance these activities with family and community in an appropriate manner IS our responsibility! Thanks again for directing these thoughts!Recommend

  • Shahzeb Younis

    A very well-written article on a topic that needs to be greatly discussed between parents of today’s world. Teenagers, today, can certainly make a brighter future for themselves and bring about a positive change in society if they are allowed to use their talents their own way. At this time, social media is the key to meet up with today’s high-tech world. An acutely influential piece of writing!Recommend

  • Saira Shahab

    The article relates to the void between the two generations and it beautifully portrays the demands of two different times. It is true that this is 2011 and the world is experiencing the robust technological advancement of all times. Youth of the day would not settle for the time that we have lived in our youth back in 80s or 90s; if they want to be connected with the world I don’t see any harm in it. If instead of one audience (teacher) for their creative writing they now have people from all around the world appreciating them for their piece of writing, is rather encouraging. In my opinion our youth is vibrant, very promising and careful as well. The thin line between good and bad is very evident to them so lets just believe in what they do and let all of us celebrate this digital age. I congratulate Farah for writing this article and hope that she will come up with more.Recommend

  • http://us.iearn.org Ed Gragert

    Farah, You have eloquently described the dilemma that parents feel about a son or daughter who is able to accommodate technology in both their personal and academic lives, neither of which was part of our own experiences when we were at the same age. The secret, as you know, is in both letting go and allowing them to learn differently, while at the same time adding the values and human environment in which learning (by whatever means) takes place. Thanks for sharing these thoughts with us. EdRecommend

  • http://sheeraz1022.wordpress.com Sheeraz Shaikh

    Very interesting article specially for youth.Recommend

  • afifa awan

    Its really thought provoking piece of writing especially for mothers like me who often find themselves in delimma when their kids want to spend time on surfing the net and we insist them to concentrate on studies.I think its difficult for us to digest the technology as it was not as common in our childhood as it is in our kid’s time.We really need to change our mind set and should encourage the kids,so they could prove themselves as effective members of 21st century as you mentioned. Recommend

  • http://khizrak.blogspot.com Khizra

    Amazing choice of words and sentence structure is properly used.

    Interesting insight. Something which we teenagers consider a boon, is usually a bane for the previous generation. Age difference and resistance to change.

    But all in all, you’v rightly pointed that they have lived a much better life than the current generation :)Recommend

  • http://www.gloriouscars.webs.com Asad Sultan

    very well written ………… I truly appreciate that….
    As being a teenager, I do want these things happen in every teen’s life but I personally think that updating status, giving comments, social sites like facebook, internet surfing could result in addiction!
    And our main goal should be success. Although what you said is reality and it should happen but not so too much that it becomes an addiction.
    And usually 85% teenagers in Pakistan are so much addicted to facebook and internet which results in their bad position in class……
    Most probably at the matriculation and beyond …..
    So I must say that this is very much creative, infact alot because you gain such good experiences of life and you also become professional. You got a feeling of importance from this too but it should be less than the time you should give to your studies because that is really necessary especially at the matriculation and college level.
    thanks.Recommend

  • Mirza Haider Ali

    Beautifully put together I must say. This is an issue that almost every house hold is facing in the current era and it should very prudently be dealt with. The whole essence of the article lies in the lines where Farah writes , “There is an urgent need to understand and reach out to these young people and prepare them for their future, and not for our past.”Recommend

  • Farah Kamal

    @Asad Sultan: anything if it goes beyond limits and damaging is addiction, this applies to everything, watching TV, eating, playing, socialising. The whole idea is what you do facebook, who you talk to on skype and focus of your google search!!! These need parental and teacher guidance and a purpose. These applications become negative and damaging if misused and bring a world of change if with appropriate use. Recommend

  • Alema Nasim

    Very true Farah, I agree and bieng a parent I can understand all these facts. We cannot deprive our youngsters and stop them to gain from these learning opportunities.that surrounds them. We need to guide them to the right path. Great article!!Recommend

  • http://- Ayesha Jamil

    Hello Farah, great effort dear. You are absolutely right we all must trust and respect our youth as they are our future, keep up doing such work… best of luck.Recommend

  • Noorjehan Javed

    A very good article about a very serious and current issue, as parents we should avoid raising or treating our youngsters according to our childhood, now it’s a time to change. Parents need to think out of the box and trust children and their abilities…technologies is updated every minute, youth can keep up with it faster than us, this is my two cents.
    I often wondered how come my son, straight A student and a high school senior is doing his school project and simultaneously chatting on Facebook, well, it took me a while to figured out that actually he is in touch with his study group to complete homework projects etc.
    Everything comes with Pros and Cons, what I miss most is also what author mentioned in the article. Spending the quality time when siblings and family sitting around the dining table discussing daily routing with parents, now we can see everyone finding a quiet corner to use phone, IPod or any other handy device, we certainly have become very unsocial……!!!Recommend

  • Rahila Waqar

    Yes Farah, its hard to parent tech savvies when the parent is screen resistant and have seen only spider webs. The parents need to grow and learn with their kids and be ‘future shocked’ hand in hand. Recommend

  • David P.

    Very well written about issues with which parents worldwide are grappling. Hope to see future posts by this author.Recommend

  • Bazgha

    well written, spot on to the problem, i agree parents still do not fully realize the power of technology and social media, it gives the much needed platform to the youth to be heard, i think there is a need to educate the parents as well, so that they can understand that technology is not a distraction but a very powerful medium. We can’t keep out children away from all this technology when in fact we as parents are the ones giving them the exposure to it (cell phones, i-pods, computers)Recommend

  • http://- Ayesha Jamil

    Hello Farah,
    Nice effort dear. Yes, you are absolutely right that we must trust our youth.They are capable enough to solve their matters. I liked your article. God bless you, take care, ayesha.Recommend

  • Shelina

    Hey Farah,

    A very reflective piece of writing and I am glad that you have focused on this issue of Generation Gap. We often hear it out from our children and youth “You guys dont Understand me” “Why me” “Werent you young” etc.. Aligning parenting with the recent development is under a great concern for the psychologist, researchers and academicians around the world. The article truly addresses the issues, highlights perceptions of our young generation, and recommends practical tips for parents..

    Good Work..

    Keep Advocacting !!! Recommend

  • Parveen Mehboob

    Farha,
    Congratulation for writing on such an important topic which is the voice of the parents of 21st century.

    The digital age generation needs has been very comprehensively written down in the article, it took me way back to my childhood and to the current status being a mother of two teenagers , arguing in a same tone and mother (me ) having FEAR with me.
    I agree with the advantages, there are bundles of benefits for being digital but to some extent I feel that this generation is becoming handicap of it, Being a teacher and a parent of teenagers i keep on listening Lame excuses such as NO electricity so Homework not done, Assignments not done because computer or internet was out of order etc.Mostly the assignments are full of copying from the internet, plagiarism has become a challenge for academia personal

    I hold strong feelings that individual creativity (Cognitive) has been LOST or minimized, teenagers are more inclined and relying upon How can I find information from internet and complete my work? Intensive reading habits are less focused, reading culture is lost. we also need to think as teachers and parents How can the digital devises can be used effectively to enhance and develop creative, innate abilities of teenagers, AND HOW CAN PARENT TRUST UPON TEENAGERS? This may be done IF Constructively these devices are being used.Monitoring learning via digital is also a challenge and bit technical. Recommend

  • Syed Hussein El-Edroos

    Liked the article. Although I use the internet and fb, till reading this article I couldn’t figure out the way my kids go about using the internet. From now on I will be more considerate of what they do with their computers, mobile phones.Recommend

  • Farah k

    @Syed Hussein El-Edroos: just guide them on Internet safety and ensure they are making meaningful use of the online technologies.Recommend

  • http://www.careersgiant.com Amin Saleem

    impressive write up clearly depicting the ground realities which I face as a Career Counsellor as well.

    The CRUX is very well showcased. Including young people in decision-making processes, and above all, teach them to make good choices is THE BEST thing we can give to young people.

    I feel, there must be a Decision Making course in every school, so that young people get assistance from it throughout their lives.

    Amin Saleem
    Managing Director & CEO, CareersGiant

    PostGraduate in Careers Guidance (London, UK)
    Former faculty: IBA (Karachi), IoBM-CBM, BIZTEK, PAF-KIET & ICMAP
    Member: Institute of Careers Guidance (UK)
    http://www.careersgiant.comRecommend

  • Farrukh Saleem

    Good stuff. Updated version of Digital naive… Keep it up. Recommend

  • http://www.saagandparanoia.blogspot.com Dur e Aziz Amna

    Fantastic article! I love how you simultaneously dealt with two issues-technology and gender gap. Keep it up!Recommend

  • Zaneera

    “There is an urgent need to understand and reach out to these young people and prepare them for their future, and not for our past.”
    You have put into words what most of the teenagers of today try to make their parents understand, and most of the times they fail to do so. Being an almost 20, I see kids (my cousins) younger than me of early teens handling these gadgets with such an ease that leave me surprised.
    My own mom, after seeing my brother doing programming tasks for hours, bursts out: ‘These machines would leave you all useless.’

    Teenagers of today need more of understanding and flexible elders so that they could excel in what they are good at.

    An excellent piece of writing.
    Best- Recommend

  • Zaneera

    Best-Recommend

  • http://iEARN Nacera Bouzekri

    This is a point that is worth discussing!
    The new generation is living in a digital, technological world that is utterly different from ours. This is why, teachers ought to adapt all sorts of innovation and get used to info commu tech, and the sooner, the better to facilitate the task for the learners and avoid any generation conflict. Recommend

  • Matt kishida

    thats true
    here comes border-less world Recommend

  • Manoj

    Digital generation

    It’s a great piece of writing, I do admire it.
    When we were young (now I am above 50) we would claim ourselves as smartest ones, and again the present dot com generation desperately disown me calling me as backdated. Furthermore, the children of this digitalized generation will again disown them at their fag end days. This is the reality. Change will take place.
    But you have written very correctly, we can only do so by making a conscious effort to trust them, include them in decision-making processes, and above all, teach them to make good choices. Let’s hope for the best.

    Manoj Kumar SenRecommend

  • Gazi Salahuddin Siddiquee

    @Faizan Karsaz:
    I impressed to read your article. I agree with you. One of my teenage student setup a online radio station and their friends RJ.
    Thank youRecommend

  • http://iearnbd.com Proshanta Kumer Sarker

    Dear Farah,
    What you have written about your experience and thought are the voices of the day. I am experiencing the same thing with my two children who are reading in 4 and 5 grade in English Medium school.

    Your writings are always thought provoking and worth reading-many things to learn. Thanks a lot.
    Proshanta
    iEARN-BangladeshRecommend

  • Faizan Karsaz

    @Gazi Salahuddin Siddiquee

    Thank you so much for your kind words :-) I taught my 11TH O-Level students Punctuation (last week) through a ‘Rap Song’ and they loved it !Recommend

  • Nighat Navaid

    Dear Farah,

    I just read your article and found it very interesting. I couldn’t agree with you more. We need to give our children the freedom to learn and make them responsible for their choices and decisions.
    In this digital age not only the 3R’s are important but 4C’s are equally important or rather more important. They are:
    communication
    collaboration
    creativity and
    critical thinking

    Nighat Navaid
    Beaconhouse School system
    HM, Clifton campus

    I have shared your article on my facebook page. Recommend