I was around 22 the first time I ever saw a personal computer,
and 27 before I had one of my own. That was three years before my older
child was born. My kids grew up with computers. Now comes a generation
that will grow up with personal devices. They may never use a mouse, a
floppy disk will be something they can only dimly relate to (by analogy
with USB drives, just as a kid who grew up with CDs might dimly
understand that we used to play music on records).
This 5-minute video shows a two-and-a-half-year-old
girl’s first encounter with an iPad. She’s highly verbal, speaking
in sentences and even paragraphs. (My son was like that at that age, so I
know it’s possible.) And that makes her an ideal test subject, because
she can talk about what’s going on for her.
What pleasantly shocks me is the way she intuitively groks the user
interface. Also, how she anticipates absent features that ought to be
there, and sees some of the possibilities the technology presents. It
probably would not have occurred to me to swipe my hand to the side
rapidly to display another window of icons. But then again, I grew up
with manual typewriters.