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Got yer Gi-pod?

April 16, 2010

My 12 year old has given me some interesting perspective recently on gadgets.  I was at her school yesterday attending rehearsals for the Talent Show the parents have organized at her school and observed how many 11-14 year old kids have the i-pod touch.  She said that it was a pretty common gadget and yet also commented how many of them were broken or damaged – seems they are not rugged enough for young ones.  Why these kids need such skookum devices, I don’t know.  Apparently so they can all play Taylor Swift music at lunch.  But my kid said “I don’t think they’re worth it”.

This morning she coined the term “Gi-pod” for the i-Pad, as she sees it as a giant i-pod.  I thought that was kind of funny.  It really is a bit of a gi-pod, sizzle and style.  I don’t have one, and while I love the idea of a tablet computer, I also read David Truss’ post, which kind of resonated with me.  So, jury is out for me, still.  Plus, I am not willing to join the apple collective.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2010 2:09 pm

    Greetings Holly,

    My oldest daughter, 10years old, has an iTouch that we gave her for Christmas. She just spent her own money to get a better, leather cover for it rather than the one we gave her. Does she ‘need’ one of these skookum devices? I don’t know? But we live in China and she will often use it to connect to ‘back home’ and so it isn’t just a app toy or a music player for her. I think the thing we need to do is to manage our kid’s time on these tools. We wouldn’t let a kid sit for 4 hours watching tv and yet it seems that letting them play on one of these tools for hours on end makes the tool itself a problem in the eyes of many…. hmmmm. That said, and related to my post, I’d rather not see these tools purchased for schools either. They cost too much for a consumer focused product where schools should be focused on content creation.

    I love the term gi-pad- how clever!

    • hollymacdonald permalink*
      April 16, 2010 2:33 pm

      Great point Dave – it isn’t about the tool, is it? I should have caught myself there! Great to hear how your daughter is using it, not every kid it seems has the maturity to do that. In our school it has unfortunately become the “it” thing, a cool accessory that shouts to everyone else – “look at me, I’m so cool”. My 12 year old broke her first mp3 player (which was not an ipod) and I made her spend her own money and buy a new one (she chose a sony). She uses it to listen to digital books that she takes out of the library. How proud am I? Yeah, she also listens to Lady GaGa and Taylor Swift, but thinks of it functionally, not in terms of status. I worry a little that Apple is perpetuating this status thing. Clearly they are creating products that appeal to youth.

  2. April 16, 2010 2:51 pm

    How true about product appeal!

    My daughter hasn’t tried listening to books yet, but she has discovered Harry Potter and Percy Jackson in paper form and I’m happy to see her choose her book as the first thing she does in the morning. I’ve loaded a few ebooks for her but she hasn’t chosen to read them yet.

    Having your daughter replace her own mp3 reinforces the idea that these are items worth taking care of and I think that helps with developing the maturity that we don’t see in many of the students today… their fault or a parenting issue?

    • hollymacdonald permalink*
      April 18, 2010 8:24 am

      Hm, some of it is probably parenting and maturity (and lack of financial acumen, another area for grown ups to help kids learn today, IMHO), but you know we live in a consumer driven society, so it is hard for kids to learn anything different, especially if they see the adults buying. I was just glad that my 12 year old was skeptical about it, exercising judgement is such a critical life skill, and one that I wish we spent more time honing with them. These kids are going to grow up and be the workers and citizens of tomorrow…

      PS – my friend lived in Dalian China for 2 years (moved from BC, now she’s living in Ontario) and one of her kids attended the Maple Leaf school, isn’t it a small world after all?

  3. April 18, 2010 6:09 pm

    Yes, a small world indeed!
    I love this point that you made, <i?'exercising judgement is such a critical life skill,' although I keep hearing that this is a 21st Century ‘Skill’… it isn’t a 21st century skill any more than ‘synthesis’ is, but there are 21st Century skills required to exercise judgement in the world we live in today. Consumerism does influence us tremendously, and since we have become the product:
    ( ) if we aren’t savvy and able to discern how much of our opinion is influenced by advertising and societal biases to consumerism, then we won’t be as potent as we can be.

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