Kids and the Internet: how about some good news?
As a parent of two teenagers, it seems to me that the news is full of reports saying that the internet is dangerous, or even damaging, for kids. Well, I would agree that it is a fairly good representation of the world in general and therefore has its good and its bad points. However, preferring to focus on the good I would like to emphasize the potential for this to be used as a tool for the future rather than a means of society’s ultimate down-fall.
The Joys of YouTube
My son is a keen amateur animator. He loves to create animated shorts with his friends that are for the general amusement of all. They are definitely funny and not the product of any kind of twisted mind (well no more twisted than the average teenage Guy anyway !). The animations now are posted weekly on their YouTube page.
Below is one of my favorites, which includes that level of observation that always makes for good humor. Be wary though, that after viewing this you may not be able to venture into the bathroom again.
Stupid, stupid, window...
- TGOFGMS's Channel - YouTube
More funny animated videos
Collaboration and Creation
My point is, though, that these kids are working together to create something. They meet periodically in person to discuss theirs ideas and they expand them via Skype when they’re unable to meet. Without even knowing it, they are developing the skills for collaboration and conferencing, which will stand them in good stead in the future when they enter the world of business.
Another facet to this love of animation, and the hours of practice that are being put in, is the practice of another set of skills that could indeed be put to good use beyond entertainment. My son is also interested in science and like me is particularly good at biology. The question is, what do you get if you put biology and animation together?
Modelling infectious disease (with humor)
or maybe this:
Life inside a single cell (with music)
Thinking of the Possibilities...
And from these type of beautiful creative animations, it may be possible by programming actual known functions of cells to successfully design new treatments for diseases in the future.
I’m not saying that this is what my own son will choose to do, but the potential is there for this technology to provide real solutions and applications in the years to come. It is our children that will have had the training and practice to use these tools to their best advantage...
If you don't have the first clue about the Internet here's the guide you've been looking for.
If your child would like to get into animation, this book covers most of the basics.