Preparing Our Children for the Future

Source: MindShift, Nov 2011

  1. EXPERIMENT WITH SCRATCH. It’s a brilliant and fun multimedia programming language that allows inventive media mixing almost immediately, without any background. It is creative and fun. Even if your child has no interest in being a programmer when they grow up, familiarity with the building blocks of a programming language will give them some skills and expertise at producing the kind of content they are already consuming. [See “5 Tools to Introduce Programming to Kids.”]
  2. EMBARK ON A MEANINGFUL PROJECT.Help your child (at any age, really) by being willing to help out—but emphatically not to lead or rescue—in an extended, risky project that has real impact in the child’s community—school, neighborhood, church, synagogue, community center. But stay out of the way. Let the kids shape the project. Kids should find a project that will probably not succeed in all the ways they hope. Dreaming big, taking risks, and scaling back if and when you have to are fantastic skills. These skills are hardly ever taught in the school room which seems to be organized (as is much American society these days) as if some litigious personal injury lawyer is there ready to pounce at any moment.
  3. LEARN HOW TO BE A RESPONSIBLE DIGITAL CITIZEN. Learn how to give and take feedback in a public and responsible way. 
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