I found a great survey via The Joan Ganz Cooney Center and the disconnect that many adults (or parents) describe when surveyed about digital technology and media use in their children's lives. Download a PDF of the presentation entitled Growing Up Digital: Adults
Rate the Educational Potential of New Media and 21st Century Skills.
An important takeaway from the survey is that a majority of parents see digital media providing educational benefit to their students, but don't think it helps with their social or communication skills, which leads them to underestimate digital media's full educational potential.
After reading that chain of thought, I am thinking we need to get more of our parents into our classrooms or extend our classrooms way beyond the four-walls so they can see what is going on. In the multimedia class, which is part of an IT course I teach, I see our kids developing their communication, collaboration and social skills in an almost vertical manner.
Our students develop some of the most creative video projects I have ever seen. They put so much thought and creativity into development of these projects, it would be hard for any parent to conclude that what they accomplished is not developing their communication skills.
Students who came into our course and very non-communicative and 'introverted', are leaving with a new found confidence in their own abilities and communication skills.
I've seen it happen. Digial media works. Teachers need to give kids the tools, some structure and the creative freedom to do what they do best - create!