Advocating for my Digital Daughter

This past Friday morning at 6:00 am, I was stirred awake by loud unusual noises from outside my bedroom. At first I thought I fell asleep while watching T.V. however, when I opened my eyes the bedroom T.V. was off but I noticed that the hall light outside my bedroom was on. I found this very odd since the lights were turned off before I fell asleep. I curiously got out of bed to see what was going on and this was what I saw:

I have a three-year old daughter named Ava and she apparently decided that it was time to wakeup but didn’t feel it was necessary to wake-up the rest of the family (bless her heart). She didn’t like the fact that it was dark upstairs so she decided to take it upon herself to turn on the lights. I didn’t have to look very far to find her because this is where she was:

She independently turned on the computer, opened Internet Explorer, clicked on the address bar and found one of her favourite websites (Disney Princesses) to play by finding the little pink icon beside the url.

This is my digital daughter and she amazes me everyday. In this case, she demonstrated her problem solving skills by instinctively grabbing her step stool to turn on the light switch when she couldn’t reach it. However, this isn’t really surprising considering that she also uses it for a variety of other uses:

She demonstrated her developing solution fluency by defining a problem (I’m the only one awake and I’m bored), devising and applying a plan in real-time (turn on the lights and find my favourite website to play). According Angela Maiers, Ava and many other preschool/kindergarten students are geniuses in the sense that they possess genius-like skills. At age three, Ava is imaginative, curious, and courageous. She can adapt to any situation,  perserveres through many challenges and has an unsatiable appetite for learning. She is my very own genius growing up in a fast-paced, everchanging, and exciting digital world and I know that in order to be successful and to be able to contribute in this 21st century world, she will most definitely need these skills.

This September, she will be entering junior kindergarten and I hope that the public education system will accomodate her needs as a digital learner and allow her to be an active participant in her own learning rather than a passive observer. I hope that the education system will not only maintain her genius-like skills but develop them and allow them to flourish.  But more importantly, I hope that school and the classroom will be a place that allows Ava to be a life-long learner, discover her place in the world so that she can make her contribution.

8 thoughts on “Advocating for my Digital Daughter

  1. Wow! What a wonderful post, Thomas! It’s because of students like Ava that I do what I do in the classroom. I’m looking forward to upcoming posts where you continue to share about Ava’s developing skills. She seems like a very special little girl.


    1. Thanks for the comment Aviva! I can only hope that Ava will teachers as dedicated as yourself. Ava is very special as is every child to their parents. Lily is 9 months and is already displaying genius characteristics!

  2. I do hope that your daughter’s school experience is not the soul-crushing disaster that my kids have experienced in the modern “social promotion” classroom where failure is rewarded and capability punished.

    Prepare yourself now to work with your child to treat school as something which must be endured and that actual learning comes before and after school.



    1. Thanks for the reply James. I’m sorry to hear about your kids’ experiences with the educational system. I do believe that education is moving towards a modern classroom where capability, contribution, collaboration, community, and learning is rewarded. I see evidence of this is in my school board and in many educator blogs. I also think that failures/mistakes are necessary in the classroom and not to be rewarded but acknowledged so that students can learn from them to be successful.

      Thanks again for the comment.

  3. Great post Thomas! She has already internalized the stance of lifelong learning. Must have alot to do with the modelling and open fluid environment that nutures her imagination and inquisitive spirit. What fun it was sharing this story the other day with staff.

    1. Thanks for the comment Lisa. Her independence and perseverance is a wonderful thing. I have a feeling I’ll be sharing this story and many others in my role.

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