SECOND EDITION — Do Digital Natives Exist?
First Edition —
Semester 1, week 1. It’s time to get my teaching degree and I am hit with the question ‘Do digital natives exist?”. First, I need to find the meaning of what a ‘Digital Native’ is? So, I googled it and got the following. A digital native is ‘ a person that is born or brought up during the age of technology and so familiar with computers and the internet from an early age’.
As I looked further into the meaning of a digital native, I came across the the term ‘Digital Immigrant’. Which means ‘being introduces and having to learn how to use technology at an older age’.
So do, Digital Native exist? I, believe they do. Todays students represent the first generations to grow with this new technology e.g. computers, video games, cell phones and the internet. Also studies have shown that the college grads have spent more then 10,000 hours playing video games and as little as 5,000 reading books. (Pensky, 2001) In an article by Pensky, it points out that technology is a vital part of childrens learning today and it has introduced new ways of teaching instead of pens and paper. The introduction of technology engages the children and can help motivate them to learn.
It also states that students have changed radically and that today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach. So as a result, the Digital Immigrant educators are needing to change the way they teach to reach all their Digital Natives (students) (Prensky, 2001).
As the Nike motto of the Digital Native says “Just do it!”. (Prensky, 2001)
Second Edition —
So, I am on the down hill road to the end of the first semester back at Uni and we are ask to re-write and reflect on one of the post that we wrote at the start of the semester and use the peer feedback we received in that reflection.
As I sit here and reflect on my first post and wonder if I still back what I wrote last time, if I am able to add anything and also take the feedback from my peer. And the answer is YES. I still believe that Digital Natives exist.
But as I write this post, I have more fear for the students (Digital Natives) and the teachers (Digital Immigrants). After I wrote the above post I started to look around notice students on their devices from on public transport to in the play ground at school and not speaking to one another and teachers leaning on technology to teach students and not interacting with their students.
And how is this affecting the kids and adults?
As we move into a life that involves and possibly revolves around technology what are we missing out on? In a post I wrote about, the impacts of technology, I spoke of how we, as adults are becoming more stressed due to technology creeping into our life, known as Technostress*. In this same post I write of how it is now starting to entre children's lives more and is causing them to stress as well.
“Technostress captures all the ways technology causes irritation, frustration, stress, and lack of sleep,”
As teacher try to keep up and teach the digital native I believe a few are falling behind and are now letting the students dictate the class room. As Prenskey says ‘ students have changed radically and that today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach. (Prensky, 2001).’
As a result the Digital immigrants are needing to ‘ change the way they teach to reach all their Digital Natives (students) (Prensky, 2001)’. Digital Immigrants are needing to ‘Just do it’ and by that I mean learn how to succesfully mould both technology and I hate to say it, but the old way onto the way they teachers the up and coming rulers of this earth.
And taking on my peer feedback i have added more words to extend and get my point across more.
So as I finish this blog, I hope that the teachers of the future catch up to the digital natives.