Blake Ross is something of a wunderkind. He starting working for Netscape at age 15 and cofounded the Firefox project soon after. Not content to stop there, an article in IEEE Spectrum describes Ross’s latest project called Parakey. Parakey is an attempt to obviate the need for separate desktop and online applications. For example, I use iPhoto to manage and edit photos on my Mac and Flickr to share some of those photos with the world. According to the article:
Parakey is intended to be a platform for tools that can manipulate just about anything on your hard drive—e-mail, photos, videos, recipes, calendars. In fact, it looks like a fairly ordinary Web site, which you can edit. You can go online, click through your files and view the contents, even tweak them. You can also check off the stuff you want the rest of the world to be able to see.
Ross is the prototypical digital native. He says, “We all know people…who have all this content that they are not publishing stored on their computers. We’re trying to persuade them to live their lives online.” If this is how young people think, is it any wonder that their digital immigrant teachers don’t understand them?