Today’s children (and youth in general) as the key users of IT technology of the future, was said too often during this edition of WCIT. In many speeches kids have been portrayed as ‘the only hope’ that will help us to cope with the increasing complexity of the technologies in the future, since they are ‘naturally smart’, and ‘learn new things quickly’. There is a lot of truth here, but there is also a great degree of naiveness too. Childhood is socially and culturally constructed as a period of learning in our contemporary culture, and in the same manner adulthood is often deprived from these learning opportunities. In my view the future lies not in betting unconditionally on kids, but creating the conditions for all to get similar learning opportunities. I also often say that the main issue with the adults is that they often should un-learn before start learning again. Have you ever seen Unlearning University?
Some of the presented IT tools were designed and developed specially for children, for example, the new school laptops by Intel. The new product was presented during the opening speech by Paul Otellini, CEO of Intel
In addition to this very nice, but also robust and ‘child-proof’ device, the company demonstrated a few software applications helping kids to explore serious subjects such as physics, but in a non-traditional, more playful, and apparently more efficient way.