An Old Man Blogging about Digital Natives
Well, I have made a life decision to jump ship out of my working comfort zone (and only thing I’ve ever done) and take a step into the wonderful world of University. At the tender age of 33 I have begun my voyage to become a primary educator, a few things have change in the time that I had dropped out of year 10, only minor things… like the internet, smart phones and just about any other technology that came after VHS was wiped off the face of the map!
The first tutorial that we had in Digital Communication, had us reading an article about ‘Digital Natives’ the article was written back in 2001 by M, Prensky, 2 years after I’d left school.
It made me think about who I had become and if I had struggled to keep up with the technology that presented itself before me.
I have always enjoyed playing video games, right from the beginning almost, my parents bought me an Atari from a garage sale, from there I have kept with the times, moving up the ranks to the present day of owning a PlayStation 4. I’d like to think that I’m switched on, plugged in, and ready for the world.
During my ‘troubled years’ at school, before everyone had the internet. I was given a homework assignment in my English class to write a short story… I didn’t really want to, so I went home and printed out an American short story that I found online, that had won a fair few awards from the year before. Now my teachers were defiantly not digital natives. I would hazard a guess that they weren’t even Analogue Natives, and my ‘work’ was thrust into the limelight. I was promoted all the way up to advanced English where my talents would not go to waste… I found the hardest part of advanced English and my new found celebrity was telling everyone that I had actually cheated and plagiarised a major piece of literature… needless to say I didn’t think I will ever be doing anything like that again!!
I have known about most of the social media platforms, but only understood them in a stereotyped way. Instagram is to take pictures of your food. Twitter is to complain about something in 140 characters. Facebook is where you post pictures of your kids (ok I might be showing my age now)
In a way I’m glad most of the rubbish I got away with as a teen hasn’t been captured digitally, stored on some random server to come back and haunt me in later life. But at the same time I’m enjoying learning about all the great things that it can do to make life, learning and teaching a much easier place!