This blog post is a prompt from a professor’s blog which can be found HERE
We were asked to read and analyze the idea of digital native at the beginning of our course (Prensky, 2001; McKenzie, 2007; and Reeves, 2008). These readings gave insight into the idea of a student in the current educational system who is somehow a different learner because of technology is not founded on research.
Based on the information above, the following prompt assigned to us:
“As educational technologists, what did you take away from these generational differences readings? How would you handle a colleague who bought into the notion of digital natives?”
I see the term “digital native” as a misunderstanding of what students in this age really understand. Yes, students were born in a time where computers, cell phones, iPads, and other types of technology are readily viable. However, this does not mean that these students are savvy users of these technologies. In fact, I find the opposite to be true and the readings introduced early in the course discuss.
Students will always range on their knowledge base coming into a class. This is true for many subjects besides technology. The important thing to note as a teacher, is to make sure students understand the proper use of that technology. I find that my students know a lot about Justin Bieber for example from Twitter, but they had no idea that you could join a professional Twitter chat and learn about educational things. Students only know what they have seen friends do you what is popular at the time.
Facebook, can be used for more than vain “look at me” posts. Students can be taught to create cohesive, higher level thinking posts. The same is true for anything written via technology or on paper. There is still a level of teaching that is very important to implement among or “digital natives.”
If a colleague brought up the idea of digital natives I would express the above sentiments. Even though my students may know how to utilize a cell phone for games better than I do (because I am older), they may not know how to utilize that cell phone to become a great writer or speller. Teachers still have a lot to offer their students in the digital age.