Yes, I learned this evening that I’m about to be dethroned as Chief Geek of my own house – by a 5th grader.
It happened just after arriving home from work today, as my daughter was at the kitchen counter typing on a laptop. I checked in to see what she was doing… responding to her Google email. No big deal, I’ve seen this before. Next, she realizes some friends are online, so it progresses to a simple Google Chat. A few more friends enter and eventually some leave. Still no big deal, we’ve been here before. Then they move to the new Google Video Chat, where they are doing full video and audio conferencing. Still no big deal, my kids have conferenced with others before.
But while she’s video conferencing with a classmate, they decide to take it to the next level. They agree to study for an upcoming Social Studies test while video conferencing. Each student logs into Edmodo (popular classroom site for collaborating), where the teacher has placed a practice test. It only allows 10 minutes to go through the practice test, but they progress one question at at time, talking their way through their rationale for one answer versus another.
This is when it hits me…. I’m a Technology Director, I spend my days talking to others about what it will be like in the future. And suddenly, I’m feeling like I’m ONLY talking about it… everyone else, including my 5th grader is already DOING IT. It was one of the most powerful 10 minutes of collaboration I’ve seen in a long time. A really good wake up call for me.
I then took out my phone, snapped a picture of my daughter while she was conferencing, you can sense the questioning look on her face. Of course, what I thought was great – the classmate on the other end said “That’s funny, my Mom is also talking a picture of me right now. I don’t think my Mom has ever taken a picture of me while I’m doing my homework.”
As I’m standing nearby with a puzzled look on my face, taking in everything I just saw, that’s when my daughter lays it on me…
“Dad, it appears you’re not the only GEEK in town anymore!”