Those Other Kids

I had an absolute great time today speaking with a group of people in Sun City Computer Club. I was asked to come talk about some of the online Web 2.0 photo sites that can be used to edit and present photos. While I have years of experience communicating with ten year olds and a good number talking with teachers, I admit I was a bit apprehensive in preparing for this group because I wasn't sure where the group's user-level would be. I was quite surprised!

In a room of about 200 adults, I asked at one point who had heard of I would guess about fifteen hands came up. When asked about Picasa, an easy 40 hands came up. These people were not squeemish. Several came up before we got started to talk to me about the DVDs they were creating. This was a great group of people who were, as one gentleman put it, on a permanent Saturday schedule. These retirees prove that age is not a limiting factor technology use.

I love telling people that my mom was working at a private school after retiring from the public school system. She saw what I was doing with some teachers and decided that she too wanted a website for her music class students. Next thing I knew, my almost-70 yr old mom was learning how to create and maintain her own wiki site.

My ex's father was an accountant for many years and, ever since I met him, he was an avid user of spreadsheets. Seems like every day, he would get on his computer and work on some data in a spreadsheet. He usually looked like he enjoyed or derived satisfaction from his technology successes.

We spend lots of time talking about how our children are Digital Natives and how adults have to work hard to become Digital Immigrants. But watching the generation ahead of me learn new creative skills using technology is great. I saw a quote attributed to Albert Einstein, "Creativity is intelligence having fun." I applaud kids of all ages who see worth in expanding their horizons, continue to learn new things, and push their own technology-use envelope wide open.  Keep on have'n fun!
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