What I am worried about, however, is this: if kids are all over the Internet these days, why don't they have the same skill set?
Last April, the New York Times posted an article about how the modern concept of "family time" consists of using some type of screen-based device while in the same room as your parents. If kids are being raised not by television but by iPads, Wii, YouTube, and Facebook, shouldn't they understand how to use the Internet for everything?
The problem is, that's simply not true.
Students in my classroom have no idea how to properly refine a search on Google; they don't understand how to use Wikipedia to find primary sources; they don't know how to discern the validity of a website by the look of its content.
I believe it becomes the responsibility of teachers like myself to ensure our students know how to use concepts like Boolean Logic in order to find specific information. I also think it is our task to make sure they understand the repercussions of their contributions to Web 2.0: posting inappropriate things on Facebook and Twitter may seem like fun at the age of 14 (or not), but when applying for jobs it will become a large issue (even in 2007).
As more and more people rely on the Internet to gather information and share more of themselves through various online profiles, we need to ensure that our students understand what is really out there waiting for them. Without that knowledge it is as if they are hiking in the Amazon jungle without a guide - and shouting for poisonous reptiles to bite them.