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Tech Savvy Doesn’t Mean Tech Skilled

digital_divide_between_parents_kidsParents getting their children involved in technology as early as possible has become a societal imperative and a source of great pressure on parents these days. The belief is that if children don’t get on the technology train at an early age, they will be left behind and be doomed to a life of Luddite failure.

So, we see kids who have iPads at age 2 and schools that are introducing computers in kindergarten. We see children who, by age 8, seem about as tech savvy as you can imagine, able to surf the web, play online games, use smartphone apps, and post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

But a recent study suggests that being tech savvy may not be preparing children to actually be skilled with the use of technology. Tech skills that are associated with academic success (and presumably career success later in life) involve the ability to “find, evaluate, integrate, and communicate the information they find online.” One of the study’s key findings was  “a general lack of online literacy among all students…”

The lessons here. Don’t conflate your children being experts at social media with their being technologically skilled in areas that will actually be of benefit to their educations and careers. Don’t fall for the false notion that giving your children an iPad or smartphone or allowing them to sign up for social media before they are legally allowed to will put them in the luxury car of the technology train.

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