Convergence Personal

Digital Native Commentary

Karl Fisch, an educator who developed Shift Happens, describes the world inhabited by his seven-year old daughter, contrasted with his world at seven:

Her world at seven: cell phone with free long distance, laptop, wireless broadband access, interactive web-based software. (And if I’d brought a webcam they could’ve videoconferenced as well.)

My world at seven: wired phone (I think just one in the house), we didn’t use long distance except for very special occasions because it was so expensive, no computer, no Internet (much less wireless, broadband, or web-based software), and certainly no videoconferencing.

My world at seven:

At our house: Ditto on the long distance, computer, internet. One rotary phone at home; one on a party line (I’m pretty certain) at my aunt’s house. One TV, black-and-white with antennae reception (two channels came in good, one not so good). Kodak camera. Manual (portable) typewriter. Two cars; camping trailer; lots of books.

Around the country, world: The first international satellite television broadcast. John Glenn is the first American to orbit the Earth. The World’s Fair is in Seattle (not yet my home!). The Supreme Court rules that state-sponsored prayer in schools is unconstitutional. Cuban Missile Crisis. Gas costs $0.31 ($2.14) per gallon, milk $0.49 ($3.38). A movie ticket is $.50 ($3.45) and a color TV, $400 ($2757.35). (Price in parens is adjusted to Sept 2007 dollars, base year 1967.)

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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