My new iPhone really is a joy but I will not wax lyrical too much other than to talk about Lucy (4) and Sarah’s (2) perception of Dad’s new toy – and their lack of bias towards one medium or another. On Saturday morning both girls woke up early and all 4 of us ended up in bed with my iPhone pretty speedily whipped out. I explained that you can watch YouTube and ring people and email and read books, well you name it, whatever we can do on the computer we can do here. “That is very cool” said Lucy.
What do you want to do girls?
Fifi and the Flowertots again on YouTube and then it got interesting as Sarah said she wanted the Wizard of Oz, her favourite film and book (and kinda obsession – we really should have taken Sarah to see ‘Wicked’). I explained there are quite a few Oz books (they understand this concept of sequels well) and downloaded The Magic of Oz via the eReader app and I read them two chapters before we all got up to collect eggs from our incredibly fertile issa brown hens (each of our 3 chooks has laid an egg daily for over 3 months without fail).
Much later on that night, when it was time to go to bed, I whipped out the iPhone and the girls requested I read the ‘Oz book’ again. Believe it or not, a story written 90 years ago, with no illustrations, held more sway than YouTube. I read a couple of chapters and it was time for sleep before they suggested more Yo Gabba Gabba. That was more a delaying tactic than anything else.
Generation Z have been more immersed in household technology than any generation on the planet but my girls seem to prefer books – more often then not – than any other activity we share. Their parents are both English teachers by profession but the power of the narrative is the key, not necessarily the medium it is delivered. They love book and film of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and want to spend more time in that land. Interestingly enough they both recognized that the sequel, ‘Return to Oz’ was a poor effort.
The girls have known from very young ages that The Wiggles can be a tv show, in a book, DVD, CD or people you see live in concert. When you go home they know we can visit the website. They know that most things can be found on the internet. Lucy made ANZAC biscuits at preschool and wanted me to make them at home. My pathetic excuse, ‘I haven’t got the recipe’ was met ‘Google it, Dad’. She wanted the biscuits and the technology is merely a tool to that ends.
Must say, like all parents (and educators), I wonder how it will all pan out. Oh, will they be called Gen Z? It seems very likely I think.