What is it like to grow up in the Digital era?
This is not an easy question to answer, in fact, it doesn't have one single answer, rather, it has many.
Here is a look at my conclusion to a study that I conducted about this very question. The full version can be accessed by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.
This is a mini-ethnography and my subjects, (twin twelve year old girls) are referred to as TnT
It is important for educators to understand that a strong protectionist approach is not what our schools need. This study has demonstrated the limitations of a protectionist approach and how TnT have circumvented some of these restrictions. Not all students have the same access and support that TnT do and are therefore further restricted than TnT are, possibly to the point of being highly detrimental to their ability to exercise any power over their education other than to completely rebel against it. The protectionist approach can limit the ability of the individual’s power to overcome traditional societal norms and roles that consistently replicate inequality. TnT utilize their digital tools in ways that allow them to overcome the inequality of societal norms. They have the advantage of a high socioeconomic status which allows this. Students of lower socioeconomic status are therefore being deprived of their ability to shape the world around them to be a more equitable place. The people who need the tools the most are the ones being deprived of them. That being said, there are very real dangers that have risen within the digital era. Therefore, a celebratory approach is not practical either. A middle ground needs to be determined in which case students are taught how to be as safe and aware with their digital tools as possible but not deprived of them.
Full version of Mini-Ethnography via Google Docs