Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Digital Immigrants

Just finished reading Mark Prensky's 2001 essay on the changes that learners have undergone in the past generation of students. I came across this text as a result of reading Kathy Schrock's Kaffeeklatsch blog. Very interesting concept, that of the digital native, the generation that have grown up with technology, and the digital immigrant, those who entered the digital arena from a previous era.

The concept that those who came late to the game bring with them set patterns and approaches is certainly relevant. Without doubt some struggle with this new literacy, as the rolling of the eyes of students attests to. The idea of quick paced multitasking within a classroom seems to be impossible to some educators, especially those who still hold to the "I am the repository of Knowledge and I shall release this Knowledge when and how I choose" teachers.

I am not sure though that I completely agree with the position of Prensky that all who came before must be viewed as immigrants. I think I am more in tune with Kathy Schrock and her insistence on being termed a Digital Pioneer. Yes, I grew up with technology too, and as it 'grew' so too did I. The fist computer I held was a Texas instrument Sr-52 programmable calculator.I also had the latest Atari 800XL computer, complete with metal spring loaded doors for the game cartridge! And the newest version of the Star Trek game!

The idea that only the latest generation of students, K to College, have the ability to learn using technology is not a truth I chose to believe in. I am surround by members of my PLN that prove this image false. I think first of using the net before I will look to a hard copy source for almost any information I may require, and I am certainly not intimidated by any of the new apps out there. I do know how to do a "restore."

Creativity and technology know no age limit.


No comments: