“We’re preparing our kids for a very digital world, so we can’t shelter them from tech for 18 years and then say ‘okay, go out in the world and good luck!’. ” – Hannah Frankman

Today’s world looks very different from the world even a couple of decades ago. The rise of the internet is redefining everything from social norms to careers to childhood development.

21st-century kids are being prepared to face an increasingly digital world. But they are also slowly losing the skills of kids who grew up without the internet: patience, articulate communication, and committed research skills, to name a few.

So are devices in education a step backward, or two steps forward? It’s most likely both.

In the latest episode of the Success Without School podcast series, Hannah Frankman of rebelEducator and Deb Fillman of The Reason We Learn discuss the role of devices in modern education. They cover both the advantages and the disadvantages arising from exposing your kids to technology from a young age, and discuss ways to implement technology to your kids’ education without harming them.

Hannah and Deb share lots of personal experiences about their relationship with technology, and provide differing but interesting takes on whether or not technology should be incorporated into education.

This episode provides solid arguments on both sides of the issue, and provides a comprehensive overview of the consequences of increasing the role of devices.

Topics Covered:

  • An overview of the current technological situation by Hannah (2:13)
  • The two sides to having access to the internet (6:15)
  • How Hannah used computers when she was young (10:00)
  • How the internet is taking away kids’ capacity to be bored, and why that’s a bad thing (14:23)
  • Deb’s recommendation to parents regarding providing their kids access to devices(17:03)
  • How do tech-using kids socialize? (21:37)
  • How the usage of tech by your kids is an ongoing negotiation (26:05)
  • Why there has been a paradigm shift in the need for tech-based education (32:20)
  • The problem of kids reading exclusively through devices (39:20)
  • All of the opportunities that tech brings for your kids (47:15)
  • Hannah’s experience in dealing with tech-friendly young adults (56:13)
  • A conclusion (1:03:06)



Breaking Smart: Breaking smart is a series of Essays written by Venkatesh Rao that break down the effect modern technology is having on our lives. The research, totalling about 30,000 words, is free to read online. Breaking smart was compiled by consultant Venkatesh Rao and sponsored by Andressen-Horowitz

KubrioXP: Kubrio is a networked school where learning happens in interconnected global pods. Kubrio works by creating an entirely global connected education experience that happens in small pods of 5-10 students.

Interesting quotes

“The way you interact with the internet is fundamentally different from the way we interact with most other things. Kids generally have a longer attention span pre-internet, and the internet generally reduces their attention span.” – Hannah Frankman (13:57)

“Well I think what you’re saying is that you signaled some trust to her, and she took that trust as a signifier to understand that she needs to take some responsibility. I think trust inspires responsibility. I think most kids do want to feel a sense of responsibility, and a sense of having good habits around how they’re using tech.” – Hannah Frankman (25:21) (Talking about how Deb collaborated with her daughter to set healthy boundaries over the use of tech)

“This is the new way of meeting people. They are literally reinventing social norms as we speak. And we don’t have to like it, to adapt to it” – Deb Fillman (31:10) (On the rise of texting and how communication has changed in recent years)

“I think that teaching kids how to look up information, formulate good questions, read through different sources, research the answer, that is an extremely important skill to teach kids. You have to understand the world has changed.” – Hannah Frankman (35:12)

“You may feel that the new ways are strange and detrimental, but you really have to break this down. What is the world we’re preparing our kids for? What are the skills that they’re going to need for it? Like they will have to know how to navigate texting people. There’s a lot of nuance in the references and the language in texting. Even I don’t understand it fully” – Hannah Frankman (35:45)

You can watch the entire episode on Youtube

Kovid Bhaduri

Kovid Bhaduri

Kovid Bhaduri is a self directed learner and the author of “A one stop guide to productivity”. He has previously worked in SEZ research and spends his free time playing music and learning economics.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blog Posts

Read more Blog posts

It Takes A Village: The Benefits of Mixed-Age Socialization for Kids

It Takes A Village: The Benefits of Mixed-Age Socialization for Kids

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “it takes a village?” Maybe…

You can catch up: Why common core standards are not as important as you think

You can catch up: Why common core standards are not as important as you think

When a toddler takes a few steps and falls down, we say he is “learning…

Soon Going To Public School Will Feel Like A 20th Century Idea: Podcast Recap

Soon Going To Public School Will Feel Like A 20th Century Idea: Podcast Recap

The minute the Internet came online our entire education system became obsolete – Hannah Frankman…


Get Started!