I am someone who prefers to spend as little time as possible in front of a screen, but since the beginning of the pandemic, like millions of people, I spend almost all my time in front of my computer and phone screens. Last year this time, the words “Zoom,” “Slack,” “Google Hangout,” “Asana,” or “Microsoft Teams” meant very little to me. COVID-19 changed everything for me and all of us.
Our children are also spending much of their time in front of a screen, from watching TV to virtual playdates and Zoom classrooms to a variety of games on their tablets and smartphones. So this holiday season, I urge all of us to get away from our screens, and that’s why I think books remain the ultimate gift for everyone, especially our young learners.
Yes, books are the ultimate holiday gifts: They are easy to wrap & available in such a diverse collection that there’s truly something for everyone and, best of all, a desperately needed pause from screens in the age of Zoom, TikTok, and Instagram.
A book does not beep at you, spy on you, sell you to marketing companies, interrupt with breaking news, absorb you into a doom-scrolling spiral, cease to function or run out of battery, overwhelm your eyes with melatonin-suppressing blue light, or otherwise interrupt your already troubled sleep. That is why I am getting books this holiday for friends and family. Who wouldn’t want such benefits for the people they love?
Consider buying Artificial Intelligence & Me (The 5 Big Ideas That Every Kid Should Know) this holiday season. Just look at our kids ask their Alexa device questions that we as adults would not. In the next decade or so, for most kids, AI will be their co-workers, drivers, insurance agents, customer service representatives, bank tellers, receptionists, radiologists, in short, a natural part of their lives.
This holiday season, we as grown-ups have an important responsibility to prepare our children so they can use AI effectively, understand the inherent limitations, and build a better future using the technology.
Artificial intelligence will soon play a role in the decision that is much more important than the movies we watch on Netflix, the music we play on Spotify, or the news stories Facebook recommends. This holiday season, we owe it to our children to help them understand and utilize the powerful tools of AI and thoughtfully weigh its moral and social implications early on.
This is our opportunity to get our kids away from the screen and read Artificial Intelligence & Me (The 5 Big Ideas That Every Kid Should Know) with them because every kid around the world should have the right to be AI educated so they can thrive intellectually and emotionally alongside AI. That’s the only way to transform them from passive spectators of technology disruption to active participants in positive change in their local communities and the world.