Blog 04 Jul 2016

Darsej Rizaj

Personal insight for the new digital generation

I believe that many of you have just read on social media about the summer school that children are attending in the Digital School. However, for those who have not had the opportunity to hear before, let me tell you about it.

The Digital School organizes during July and August intensive training for children who are trained within 4 weeks about computer architecture, networks and internet, internet security, and multimedia.

I dedicate this article to the 3 weeks that have just passed, where I will try to give an overview of what I have personally experienced working with children.

Days 1 and 2 - Camp in Germi


An experience that makes you jealous that you are no longer a child, was quite difficult for the pre-war generation to have the opportunity to experience at least one day and night in the camp. It was a golden opportunity to make better connections with the students as well as to understand more about each character. One element that impressed me in the group discussions where we each shared something about ourselves was that most indicated that they had a problem with patience and were aware of this.

However, it is amazing to have a focus group of such an early age who are able to conceive of a super application around germination. If it was an adult meeting, I am very convinced that for such a short time you will not be able to hear such a high level of creativity.

Week 1 - Computer Architecture

Let me tell you a little about myself to relate to the topic. I was 8 years old when I had a computer. At that age and time (1994) it was like a toy from the future which created a curiosity and later a passion that accompanied me all my life. Considering that there was still no internet at that time, kids like me only had a few options. The programs that were there, exploring without any purpose as well as breaking down and fixing it was like getting into a new mission.

Today, for this technological generation, at first I was very reserved as an instructor on what level to talk to children, as I had expectations that what I did and many others of my generation at that time will now be easy challenges for children.

After a few days of training, I can say a few words…

The Internet has taken over, we have children more than ever passionate about it. However, the use of technology as a science in itself is much lower than I would have ever thought. Children have access to information faster than ever before. In terms of factual knowledge, I do not want to dwell, however, I may notice a few things.

Children know how to use their smartphones mainly for browsing, youtube, and games. For most children, computers are devices for browsing, youtube, and games. If these break down, that's their problem…

All this motivated me, even more, to put these children at least at my level when I was little. What I learned during my years as a child has become a personal mission to teach them and hopefully one day they will be much better than where I am now.

During the first week, I taught them about computer parts in detail, their operation where they were also taught how to identify them. A special thanks go to Prishtina Hackerspace who made it possible for this week to be fantastic by offering us more than 80 computers. Students had the opportunity to work in a typical service environment, where they dismantled all computer parts, and created their own computers from different parts, making many of them previously obsolete.

After all this, they were also taught to repair computers and format them when needed.

In my childhood, these were the basic skills to use a computer. In other words, we did not have the luxury of having the computer serviced every week.

I believe that it is essential for every engineer to know first how to repair their tools, and I am very proud that today these children were trained in this part.

At the end of this week, the children visited the Vita factory in Istog where they had the opportunity to see sophisticated technological equipment which had automated many processes that were previously worked by humans. It is essential that these children today become aware of the need for technological knowledge which is becoming more and more necessary for our lives.

After the children learned about the computer, the second week began with lessons about the Internet and computer networks. It was very interesting for them to understand how computer networks work.

Previously, for my generation the internet was just one thing that exists, now for this generation, it is quite easy to understand what is going on behind the scenes.

This week we made sure that the children see the network equipment, understand the network connection starting from the computer network of the Digital School, as well as create their own networks by using the necessary equipment.

It feels great to hear from them how they managed to format computers at home or how they set up the Wi-Fi device for better performance, or how they set up personal networks. In a way, it seems to me that now every home is having its own IT.

It is a very good feeling to accept the impressions of parents like my child has formatted my company computers and for this, he has won something as a reward for motivation. Or, my kids have completely rebuilt the internet network and now the internet performance is better.

At the end of this week, in order for the children to see the practical work of the engineers working with computer networks, we sent the children to the 3CIS company. There, children had the opportunity to see laboratories with the most sophisticated network equipment, as well as to understand the work done by Kosovar youth in many global companies through the use of the Internet.

Week 3 - Internet Security

When it comes to cybersecurity, hackers usually come up with the idea. Do you know why hacking is so attractive to children? It's the barrel! The feeling of the digital barrel makes children feel superior to others. It is a little scary to think how easily these children are infected with different viruses or exposed to other dangers by searching the internet for different hacking methods.

For my generation Hacking was like a technological game… with the fact that no one at the time was able to show us that there are consequences. This game has not lost its meaning in children even today!

For the Digital School educating children about online safety is a topic that is lacking in schools and in family discussions, at least for most if not all. This is due to the ignorance of these dangers for the whole generation of adults.

The children during this week had the opportunity to see different attack techniques and learn how to identify them. They learned about attacks and protection, and how to practice cleaning their computers from viruses, and how to secure their devices at home.

The last day of this week was the visit to the Kosovo Police Cybercrime Sector. The children were amazed by the level of technology that this institution possesses and the way it has been received as a school. This visit was also exciting for me, probably because as a child such a visit was not possible but I would not want to see the Police building.

So, three fantastic weeks full of emotions and lifelong lessons, both for the children and for me! I see a lot of potential in the new generation of children, however, I also see a lot of gaps that I hope that in the future schools will improve, as this directly affects the society, economy, professionalism, and level of services in the future.

Now I can hardly wait for the week of Multimedia, creative lessons where children will have the opportunity to express themselves through photos and videos, create their own short films and become independent in this aspect as well. At the end of this week we look forward to visiting Klan TV who are waiting for us to explain in detail how they do photo editing, videos and video montages.

Digital lessons, which will be able to make our children versatile for life and profession!