Reading Blog 3 – September 16, 2015

“Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants” (p. 3-11) by Marc Prensky from “The Digital Divide: Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Networking.”

Today’s reading assignment talked about “digital natives” and how their minds are changed due to advances in technology. Digital natives, according to Marc Prensky, are the people who grew up around the computer and the internet, and therefore they are technologically savvy. Digital natives have a hard time learning in this day and age because they are usually taught by people that Prensky refers to as “digital immigrants.” Digital immigrants are people who weren’t born into the technological age. These people have to relearn the new language of technology, and at times they find it very hard to adapt. According to Prensky, there is a very prominent communication barrier between digital natives and digital immigrants. Digital immigrants, who are usually the teachers in today’s world, are finding it hard to do their job because digital natives seem bored or uninterested in what they are teaching. On the other hand, digital natives find the digital immigrants’ teaching style obsolete and not interactive enough. Therefore, the main point of Prensky’s essay is that digital immigrants need to learn how to adapt to the new learning style of digital natives. Their brains are newly rewired, and their learning styles vastly differ from the digital immigrants. The minds of digital natives need to be stimulated through video games or interactive simulations to help them be interested in learning. It’s a new age of technology, and with that comes new ways of teaching and relating to students of today’s society.

Links:

  1. “What does it mean to be a digital native?” http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/04/business/digital-native-prensky/ – This article relates back to Prensky’s essay, and how he sees the future of electronic media. It also delves in to examples of the expansion of digital media in a different country, such as India. It also makes predictions as to what Prensky sees for the future of the savvy digital natives.
  2. “How Digital Learning is Reshaping Education” http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/07/08/how-digital-learning-is-reshaping-education.html – This article talks about the ways that technological advances are changing the face of education. It relates back to Prensky’s idea that digital immigrants need to learn the new-wave language of digital natives. This article talks about how each teacher that chooses to use new 3D technology to teach their subject needs to be aware of how to solve every problem if the technology does break down. New teaching technology not only helps students learn, but it helps teachers to be confident with their teaching materials.
  3. “Using Social Media in the Classroom: Why There’s A Lot To Like” http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-with-technology-articles/using-social-media-classroom/ – This article talks about the positive outcomes that social media has had in the classroom. More and more teachers are finding it to be a useful teaching tool because it attracts the attention of their students. I can relate to this article, because in high school my Psychology professor asked us to use Twitter for a school project. It ended up being one of the most interesting assignments we had all year, and I still remember what we learned.

Discussion Questions:

  1. In his essay, Prensky mentions how he agrees with the statement that “kids should only be allowed to use computers in school that they have built themselves” (Prensky 8). Is this a valid statement? Shouldn’t kids be able to learn how to just use apps and computer programs without learning how to build their own computer?
  2. What are the ways in which social media or new technology has been a hindrance to a digital native’s learning?

Janelle Conti

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