One of the most used therms in week 1 of the #Edcmooc has been without doubt the use of the therm of Digital Natives and Digital Immegrants. Because of M. Prensky’s tekst about them. I used it myself in my first blog post in the course, but in the last couple of days i been taking notice of something from the danish version of #edchat, where danish educators is networking together. They said that the therm was wrong and should be changed. Then i looked into the theory more i must agree with them.
Prensky’s text was with out doubt taken to new heights by techno-utopians and people a like, but then you start to look into it more deeply it suddenly starts to fall apart. Keep in mind that the theory is over 10 years old now and ALOT has happens since then
“Well, my basic point is that the claims about this generation are not based on research. They are speculations that emerge from anecdotal observations and from a techno-utopic view of the world and a fascination with technology. I don’t dispute that this generation is different than previous generations. Every generation differs from the previous in some way. The social, political and technological context changes so this is bound to have an impact on the people growing up at that time. But before we start making radical changes to the way to do things in education we need some evidence. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that we have to conduct exhaustive studies before we make change. Clearly, we have to be more responsive than that. The kind of evidence I’m talking about is not hard to collect. It involves surveying students, talking to students, and observing students and doing it in a way that will allow us to make generalizations.” http://www.openeducation.net/2008/09/23/net-generation-nonsense-mark-bullen-discusses-teaching-and-learning/
Steve Wheeler hits the target dead on on his blog:
“The message is clear: teachers should not assume that because many children are adept at using new and emerging technology, that they are able to apply them freely in formalised learning contexts such as school. Nor as a result, should they shy away from using technology in the classroom with the fear that ‘the children will know more about it than me’ – children may have skills in the use of technology, but teachers have the skills and the knowledge to create engaging and exciting learning opportunities and environments. Technology is simply a part of that equation. “
Danish educational researcher Ove Christensen (@oveucsj) made a note on the Steve Wheeler post:
“Firstly: Even though a lot of youngsters are functional skilled in handling digital technologies the group of youngster is not homogenous. There are quite big differences between young people when it comes to the level of mastery of, say mobile phones, online navigation etc. Teachers who think that their students are fluent in digital technology will consequently exclude a great number of their target group from taking part of teaching activities. A lot of their students don’t know how to handle the tools. This is more than confirmed by the comments to Wheeler’s post.”
I cannot agree more my self, being part of the generation called so many things through the years i can see the point in their thinking. There were many different ways of repsonding to all this new techonlogy and not everyone was someone i would call a digital native myself.
I know many these days still use it and many of on the #edcmooc, aren’t in the education area at their jobs. but look deeper into the research of the therm and find out yourself. Even the Prensky himself don’t use it anymore and had changed it into Digital wisdom. That make a lot more sense in my world and he is right then he says: Before bringing in the new tools, we need to rethink education!
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