13 August 2014

How tech-savvy are your children? Have you ever found yourself being told how to use something new by someone under twelve? I’m willing to bet that at least half of the people reading this blog have experienced first-hand the curiosity and competence of young people in the face of new technology.

ageisanumberIt stands to reason then that Ofcom’s recent report on the matter found that six year olds have the same level of communications technology understanding as 45 year olds. I’m not surprised by this as my own children give me a run for my money – my two year old already knows how to unlock mobile phone screens whilst my two older girls both use apps for learning and playing games.

This is a generation that has grown up with mobile devices and never heard the beeps and buzzes of dial up internet! Invariably, their knowledge of technology is going to be informed by this environment and, with the recent changes to the IT curriculum, they’re well placed to learn about new innovations and pick up important digital skills.

Ofcom’s research suggests that beyond the age of 60, tech confidence drops. Yet the potential for knowledge sharing here is huge. Imagine if grandparents sat down with their grandchildren and learned how to use new technology, trading stories and life experience with the younger generation in return. What a great swap that would be!

Technology, at its best, empowers people to do and achieve more. If we can get people of all ages using and enjoying it, I think we’ll become a much more confident nation as a result.

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