As Google changes it’s name to ‘Alphabet’, Elizabeth Simpson looks at the ever-changing language of modern technology.
What alphabet did you learn? ‘A’ is for ‘Apple’? What kind of apple though – a shiny red one, or a white one with a chunk out of it, manufacturer of the ‘I-‘ revolution?
Language is probably one of the most vital life skills we learn. It is how we communicate, whether through speech or writing.
Even Google, the search engine giant, is changing its corporate name to Alphabet. The name has been chosen as it represents language, which according to Google co-founder (and future Alphabet CEO) Larry Page, ‘is one of humanity’s greatest inventions’. Yet both language and technology, and the way they are used, evolves over time.
Toys no longer hold children’s engagement
How we learn is changing at a rapid pace, with children using technology from a much earlier age. My toddler can unlock my Iphone and can swipe to, then load, the CBeebies app.
She knows if she presses the home button and locks the phone, she gets to see a picture of herself. The three toy phones she has, two of them ‘mobiles’, lie unused at the bottom of the toy box. She’s 23 months.
There have been several news stories that back up this early adoption of technology recently.
Highland Council has just announced plans to ensure that every pupil in Primary 6 – Secondary 6 will have a tablet, laptop or handheld device for educational purposes by 2018. This follows trials which saw a homework hand-in rate of almost 100% and pupil engagement increase in the classroom.
This comes as the use of smartphones has over taken laptops as a means of access web-based services in Scotland. I remember sitting a test in school, probably around 1998, about technology; I got 9 out of 10. The question I got wrong? ‘What do you need to access the Internet?’
The answer sheet said computer and modem, I had put mobile telephone, as my shiny new Nokia 3330 had WAP access. I wonder if the teacher has changed her answer sheet yet?
[tweet “School test: What do you need to access the internet? I put ‘mobile phone’ and was marked wrong!”]
Mobile more important for youngsters
This increased use in smartphones was mirrored in a recent survey carried out by Highlands and Island Enterprise.
The survey showed that mobile phone coverage was a top consideration for young people (aged 15-30) to stay in the area, and increased coverage was more important to them than improved broadband speeds.
[tweet “…mobile phone coverage was a top consideration for young people (aged 15-30) to stay in the area #digitalscotland”]
This comes at a time when increasing broadband coverage and speed is still a key priority for Government spending, when maybe their efforts should be re-focused.
So what if you learnt the ‘shiny red apple’ alphabet?
At Canary Dwarf we believe you are never too old to learn something new! We can offer one-to-one web training days, where you come in with an idea and leave with a website. We are always at the end of the phone or e-mail, or pop in to our office for an old fashioned one-to-one – ready to offer you help and support in all web related matters, from social media to online marketing.