Our new dog is a welcome addition. She is sweet and loves to be around us. Her energy is contagious and it does put a smile on her new sister dog, Bella’s face. It is, though a big change. It will probably take the next 6 weeks before Baylee and the rest of our pack get used to the new normal.
The new dog on the block makes me think about the change that the cell phone has brought into our lives. Gone for the most part, is the home phone which we used in a much more community way. When grandma called the family home, she was happy to talk to anyone who answered. Many a young dating teen girl cringed when her dad yelled down the hall, “A cute boy is on the phone.” The cell phone has made our communications more individual and personal.
Another interesting change is in our perspective of what constitutes “coming of age” for youth. Forever, it has been the lure of the driver’s license on your sixteenth birthday and if you were lucky … a new car. Or in my case, a very old “new” Volkswagen bug. I was at the DMV early on my birthday, passed the test and blasted out of that parking lot to a new freedom. While this still does very much exist, a more definitive coming age is the moment a teen gets their first cell phone. For many families, this happens between the ages of 12 and 14. This fact alone has driven car companies scrambling to find a way of bringing back this large group of potential customers. Check out this article on the cell phone vs. the first car.
What this all means for education is that the way we interact with information and each other is changing faster than my dog can learn a new trick. The mobility of our personal devices enables us to be producers as well as consumers of information. We often find ourselves in more than one place at a time (multiplicity of place), talking to someone next to us while reading or responding to a text. This is all very disruptive, but can and will no longer be held at bay. It is not whether we accept and work with change or keep it out of our learning environments. It is very much time to control the way this “new normal” crashes into our classrooms and study sessions.
Baylee, the new dog on the block will take a little time still to completely fit into the rhythms of life in our dog pack. She has mastered the dog door and is for the most part “house broken”. She knows where to sleep (often snoring on my daughter’s bed) and knows her name. She still barks anxiously at new people and new situations. I find myself telling her what I need to hear myself as well … “It’s going to be okay”. I don’t add to her because well … dogs have a limited grasp of the english language that… it will be okay if we remain open to how innovation can enhance our lives. There will always be a new dog on the block so it is best just to get in there and run with it.