The prospect of a new decade has always correlated with hope for change and progress. Decades tend to define generations so it’s exciting to consider how the 2020s will ultimately be remembered. By the end of the *insert adjective* 20’s, both my children will have most-likely left home and could either be at University or in the big-wide-world of work. No matter what path they choose, I hope they will look back over the 20s with fond memories of the film, music, fashion and people that defined an era.
Yet despite the lack of clarity on the cultural icons that have yet to make their mark on a decade that hasn’t started yet, there is one certainty about ‘what’s next?’…
If you think things are digital now, “you ain’t seen nothing yet…”
In June 2010, an estimated 28.7% of the world’s population were using the internet. By June 2019 that figure has more than doubled to 58.8%1. As for social media, in 2010 there was around 970 million social media users, yet in 2020, the figure is expected to rise to 3 billion.2 Imagine what these statistics will be in 2030?
No matter how you look at it, the digital revolution shows no sign of slowing down. The ‘Internet of Things’ is becoming ever more permeated across society and it’s hard to think of a job that our children will end up doing that won’t involve either the consumption or production of digital technology. Students today have already started to navigate the digital world, but it’s a journey on which the destination is unclear – the speed at which technology develops means that much of the technology our pupils use today, will almost certainly be obsolete by the time they leave school. Nevertheless, it is absolutely essential that both schools and parents are there to help children navigate their digital pathways. The technologies themselves may be changing, but digital productivity, communication and literacy are already pre-requisites of the digital workplace in which we are all participants. Pupils who attend the Royal Grammar School Worcester interact digitally in this way every day and are therefore, already at an advantage. Furthermore, through our PCSHE lessons, computing curriculum and Digital Learning Programme, digital skills, knowledge and responsibilities are continually reiterated so that our student voyages to digital success are as clearly demarcated and defined as possible.
I elaborated on this theme in a presentation I recently delivered to parents which I have shared at the end of this post. I talk about the differences associated with growing up in a digital world, but point out that they are not necessarily negative. Indeed, by showing interest, engaging in dialogue and a process of active mediation. Together, we can assist our children to use social media to their advantage as we guide them on their digital journeys.