My three year-old cannot operate the mouse on my desktop and remains mystified by the trackpad on any laptop he's seen. He has just begun, after a year, to operate the "mouse" on his "laptop" computer that introduces him to letters, numbers and words.
Give him a touch-screen, like an iPhone, and he's off to the races. Within a month of the iPhone's appearance in our home, he (at 2 years of age) was operating the apps downloaded for his enjoyment. It wasn't long before he was unlocking the phone, scrolling to "his" page and choosing his own games to play. With the introduction of OS 4 last spring, he quickly learned to open a folder to select his game as well.
Given that, in the last few years, CD-Rom has gone the way of the floppy, and flash memory is becoming obsolete to advances in cloud storage, does the mouse have any future in a world of multi-touch displays? Some of my students already lament the limited capabilities of the IWB in my class -- it only recognizes one touch and one cannot manipulate the display (rotation or zoom, for example) as on any smartphone of 2010.
By the time my 3 year-old enters school, will we lament the new generation that doesn't bring "basic computer skills" the way we lament the loss of writing skills like penmanship?
Kabachia...who's wondering if you're ready for computers to look different too.