I enjoyed reading Michele Martin's blogpost on the question of teaching critical thinking skills to students Forget the Kids--It's the Adults Online Who Need Critical Thinking Skills. We're often so concerned about our children's vulnerability on the net that we forget how easily fooled most adults are. Very few kids reply to spam e-mails (they don't even use e-mail) but lots of adults do.
It's all part of the digital natives/net-generation discussion that I've referred to many times before. Age has nothing to do with digital competence; many youngsters have very poor computer skills and many older people are excellent (and of course vice versa). Kids have certainly different ways of communicating compared to their parents - MSN instead of e-mail, text instead of phone calls etc. But that does not mean that they are more skilled in using the net in general. There are simply digital natives of all ages and then many more of all ages who lack the necessary skills to use the net effectively.
There's a very good blogpost about all this by a young Swedish blogger, Gustav Holmström, who writes about the digital skills of his schoolmates. Just paste the Swedish text into Google Translate if you want a translation of this article.