Technology has become part and parcel of life today. Thus, it has a significant influence on the way society lives. An examination of technology trends and the new generation of children indicate that technology is influencing the kids’ life tremendously. However, the divide between developed and developing countries extends to the technological exposures of the kids. Technology enhances a child’s imagination.
The new generation of children in the United States can come up with innovative ideas and objects due to exposure to technology. Technology enables kids in both the United States and Kenya to socialize and make new friends. Besides, it supports personalized learning. The education system should embrace the use of technology as a learning tool in a measured way since it is dynamic.
Technology has become an essential element of civilization in the current world due to its spread and application. Almost every facet of life depends on technology because it is affected in one way or the other. Technology derives its importance due to the way it simplifies barely everything in people’s life. It simplifies tasks by providing advanced ways of performing them and solving problems. Technology is bound to influence children in one way or the other as they are part of society.
The aforementioned will happen on purpose or by default, depending on the prevailing situation. Technology will not only shape the present generation of children but also the coming generations. The technological influence will define how they learn and interact with society. A look at the previous generations indicates that whereas they enjoyed a certain level of technological advancements, they cannot be compared with the present crop of generation. Technology will impact children from developed and developing nations differently based on the degree of exposure. This paper will discuss how technology will shape the new generation of children in Kenya and the United States.
Technology and the New Generation
The new generation of children can be described as the K-12 cohort. The K-12 cohort is a generation that has been brought up under the digital era that runs modern society. According to Klopfer, Osterwel, Groff, and Haas (2009), technology has a significant influence on a child’s learning and cognitive development (p. 6). Young children who grow up under technological influence tend to develop a sharp mind.
They easily understand and interpret situations as they happen. Technical devices equip children with the ability to connect situations by processing them quickly. The use of computers by children will enable future generations to have a good understanding of technological tools and how they work to enhance people’s life (Palak & Walls, 2014, p. 432). A simple understanding of how technological instruments work is adequate to advance a child’s knowledge.
It will lead to a generation of children with a somewhat advanced way of looking at things because of their superior understanding. Due to the availability of technological tools, the new generations of children will have a better understanding of the world around them. Technology will help children to gather information about different forces that impact the universe (Boyden, Dercon, & Singh, 2015, p. 195). Technology is about new ways of doing things.
Thus, the new generation will have the ability to create innovative ways to experiment, novel methods to explore, and original means to create different things. Indeed, technology will shape the new generation by advancing every facet of its life. Nevertheless, the influence of technology will vary between developed and developing nations.
Effects on Social Interactions
Technology has an enormous influence on the social interaction of society. The impacts of technology will be reflected in future generations because it will provide a platform for social interaction. The environment in which the children grow affects their socialization. The environment is a wholesome component that influences the growth of a child and defines how a kid relates to others (Plowman & Mcpake, 2013, p. 28).
The technological environment provides a new way of socialization that is a departure from what used to happen before the advent of technology. In the United States, technology gives children a significant opportunity to socialize. Kerawalla and Crook (2012) allege, “Technology such as video games allows children to hang out and provides structured time with friends” (p. 763). Besides, video games help children to initiate discussions that enable them to make friends. As Kenya continues to adopt technology, kids are gradually changing the way they socialize.
Nevertheless, the Kenya kids socialize virtually unlike the American children who have time to meet face-to-face with their friends. Many kids spend a lot of time on social media. They use social media to interact with friends (Hyo-Jeong & Bosung, 2011, p. 109). It becomes hard for the parents to know the kind of company that their children keep. The kids no longer prefer outdoor activities that enabled them to meet and interact with friends in the past. In other words, one may claim that while technology continues to enhance socialization in the United States, it is gradually destroying the same in Kenya.
Technology and Education
Learning in educational institutions is slowly adopting technological methods to impart knowledge to students. The development of new methodological ways of imparting knowledge to the new generation necessitates the adoption of technology. The generation will enjoy new ways of learning through interactive technology-oriented tools. The technology-teaching relationship is important for education purposes because it aligns the child with the expectations of society.
In the United States, children are exposed to computer games at an early age. The games require them to think hard. As a result, American children can tackle arithmetic at a tender age. Besides, American kids are imaginative. Simon and Halford (2015, p. 65) maintain that most kids in the United States do not have problems in expressing themselves. Playing video games on computers equips them with skills to anticipate consequences and make sound decisions.
On the other hand, children in Kenya do not have access to computers. Consequently, they have challenges in learning (Powell, Diamond, Burchinal, & Koehler, 2010, p. 304). Lack of exposure to technology makes it hard for Kenyan kids to be creative (Simon & Halford, 2015, p. 65). Besides, children lack the desire to discover new things. Most American kids have an interest in learning history. Technology exposes them to a myriad of information regarding the past, thus triggering their desire to learn (Wrzus, Hänel, Wagner, & Neyer, 2013, p. 60).
According to Couse and Chen (2014, p. 81), the Kenyan schools are unable to provide individualized learning to kids due to lack of exposure to technology. Students are taught the same regardless of their differences in understanding. On the other hand, Americans use technology to provide individualized learning. Video games are set in a way that they help kids to tackle difficult challenges gradually. Consequently, in the future, the United States will have a generation of learned individuals with the ability to tackle varied challenges creatively. On the other hand, Kenya will comprise a generation of semi-skilled individuals who will have difficulties in handling challenging situations.
Technology and Innovation
The new generation of children will largely be over-dependent on technology as part of its life. Growing up in a technology-infested environment creates a dependency syndrome. It leads to the assumption that the world has always been with technology. Such is a false assumption because it can mislead a generation. Growing up with technology means that the new generation will become innovative or lazy in the future (Plowman & Mcpake, 2013, p. 28).
The majority of technology users are consumers who do not have an idea about its origin. Therefore, they might not be in a position to appreciate and understand the lack of technology. Kids become innovative if they are exposed to technology at an early age. American kids are exposed to numerous technological games that spur innovation. One of the games is Disruptus. Sternberg and Preiss (2013) describe Disruptus as “an innovative-thinking exercise practiced by firing off ideas based on images of objects and a directive determined by the roll of the die” (p. 37). The kids acquire innovative skills enabling them to make numerous objects. In Kenya, kids are not exposed to innovative games. Nevertheless, access to technology broadens their mid enabling them to come up with innovative ways of dealing with challenges that they encounter.
Not all children are gifted in education. However, exposing students to technology at an early age may enable them to discover their talents. In the United States, kids are likely to discover and mold their talents without difficulties due to access to technology. In Kenya, kids are only exposed to digital learning. They are not allowed to use technology for other purposes, particularly when in school.
On the other hand, American children have an opportunity to use technology to exercise their creativity (Boyden, Dercon, & Singh, 2015, p. 195). In some instances, the children discover their talents and nurture them. For instance, some kids learn to compose music at an early age due to exposure to technology. In the case of Kenya, the kids may take long to discover their talents as they use technology for education purposes only. The only other way that they use technology is to socialize and that does not facilitate talent development.
Child development and learning continue to transform with the emergence of new technologies. When children are exposed to technology, they learn and grasp the new idea, thus acquiring a better understanding of concepts. A study of children who have come into contact with technology and those who have not shows that the former has a good understanding of things. They tend to make quick connections of ideas. Exposure to technology has helped American kids become creative. However, this does not mean that Kenyan children are entirely disadvantaged. The cognitive ability of children allows them to continue to learn.
Hence, when kids are exposed to new ideas, they tend to comprehend them fast. Kenyan kids will eventually adapt to technology as they continue to interact with it. The advent of technology is forcing many education systems to incorporate it into their practices. In Kenya, traditional teaching methods are gradually fading out. Institutions are slowly adopting new technologically-inspired teaching methods. It will enable the new generation of kids to develop technical skills and become innovative. However, as much as technology is here to stay, it will take time before it is entrenched in the children’s lives, particularly in Kenya. The kids will require sufficient time to adapt to the use of technology as it is new to them.
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