The article, Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants, by Marc Prensky was one that I really related to. I think what the author is saying makes a lot of sense. Today’s young children are growing up in a world much different than those of their teachers. They are being raised in a world where technology is so prevalent. Most of the young kids today can’t even remember a time when they weren’t using technology of some sort. It is so natural to them; it’s second nature.
This is even true for my generation. While I did grow up for a short period without computers and cell phones, I am completely dependent on technology. When I was 12 my family got our first computer with the Internet. However, I still entertained myself by playing sports and playing outside more often than turning to technology.
This article reminded me of an experience I had while volunteering in a first grade classroom. The teacher was asking the students if anyone knew what the word, “edit” meant. One student raised his hand and replied, “Yes, that’s when you are writing a text message and you make a mistake so you press the edit button to go back and fix it.” He was only six years old. With kids thinking this way, it only makes sense to somehow incorporate what they know and what they can relate to in these lessons. I think that this will make it easier for them to understand and also will be more entertaining. I know that when something sparks my interest, it is 100 times easier for me to remember it later on. Prensky mentions in the article that it is hard for teachers to relate to students when many of them did not grow up in this age. This reminds me of my own parents. I guess they could be considered “digital immigrants”. While they have gotten much more comfortable with technology, it is still does not come easy to them. They would much rather do things the “old fashioned way” and sometimes have a hard time understanding the benefits of using a computer. They did not grow up with advanced technology, so it is not always easy for them to relate to me in this way. And it can also be a source of frustration to them, which I think is true to many people their age.
I do believe that as a new generation of teachers is hired, learning is going to change drastically. We will eventually have a society where everyone has grown up with technology which will in turn have a tremendous effect on the way that students learn. It will be very interesting to see.