Yeah, this one is kind of from the “DUH” files, but it’s something worth repeating. We know that teens need adult guidance to navigate new worlds, digital or not. Just because teens feel more comfortable in digital worlds than many adults doesn’t mean they don’t need the help.
When we talk about how “tech savvy” kids are, or how they are “digital natives”, it creates a false sense that adults aren’t needed. Worse, it’s an excuse to ignore the whole thing. (See my post Digital natives/immigrants – how much do we love this slogan?)
Adults bring wisdom and experience of the world, even if they feel a bit like a fish out of water trying to sort out new rules for new media.
But adults need kids too. The typical reaction of adults is to make rules and hand them down to children. This isn’t serving us well here. Adults need to collaborate and communicate with youth to figure out how we all need to navigate these new waters. Teens bring interest, passion, committment, and experience, as well as a different point of view.
In a real collaboration, both sides have things to learn and things to offer. This is certainly true here.