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Winter 2010

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Winter 2010 - Department | ‘Ohana News

The Net Generation

For the past 11 years, Beloit College Wisconsin has released the Beloit College Mindset List which examines the “cultural touchstones” that affect incoming college freshmen. Although the list provides some amusing information, we also receive insight into how rapidly things change. This year, many items on the list revolve around technology. 

The report states: “The Class of 2012 has grown up in an era where computers and rapid communication are the norm, and colleges no longer trumpet the fact that residence halls are 'wired' and equipped with the latest hardware. These students will hardly recognize the availability of telephones in their rooms since they have seldom utilized landlines during their adolescence. They will continue to live on their cell phones and communicate via texting. Roommates, few of whom have ever shared a bedroom, have already checked out each other on Facebook where they have shared their most personal thoughts with the whole world.”

From the Beloit list, the following items show how commonplace technology has become during the past 17 or 18 years.

  • GPS satellite navigation systems have always been available
  • WWW has never stood for World Wide Wrestling
  • IBM has never made typewriters
  • Caller ID has always been available on phones
  • Windows 3.0 operating system made IBM PCs user-friendly the year the college freshmen were born
  • They may have been given a Nintendo Game Boy to play with in the crib
The other day, I was telling a group of people that when perusing the 1998 kindergarten directory for what is now the junior Class of 2011, the only contact information were the telephone numbers for  home and work. A pager number was an alternate for a few of us, but there were no e-mail addresses and no cell phone numbers. No wonder parents anxiously searched through backpacks every day for the flyers (usually torn and crumpled) that were sent home from school! 

Nowadays, kindergarten directories include three or more sets of phone numbers (mostly cells) and several e-mail addresses. 

At ‘Iolani I’m amazed at how techno savvy many of our parents (not me) are now. E-mail responses now come from cell phones as parents watch soccer practice. ‘Iolani ‘Ohana grade level representatives use technology to conduct polls. The  new ‘Iolani ‘Ohana website is constantly evolving, and as you will read in this issue of the Bulletin, ‘Iolani has been updating the technology on campus to enhance our students’ learning, another thing parents will need to be “up” on. 

As a parent, I may shy away from technology, but I accept that technology is a huge part of my children’s Iives. I know that most of technology is good but that we need to be wary of how some things can produce negative results. In the end, I’m just glad that I don’t have to figure things out by myself – I’ll just wait for one of the kids to explain it to me.

Barbara-watanabe

Barbara L. Watanabe
‘Iolani ‘Ohana President 2009-10