Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants (& why it's IMPERATIVE we find common ground)

I think this article really explores a very serious issue in the education system today. As an educator who entered elementary school when an apple computer was a gigantic grey computer instead of a sleek television looking HD screen.

 It has been an evolving journey being introduced to new technology. My generation (1990's) was raised with Digital Immigrants as our teachers and we were taught in a traditional way. As time has passed so many innovative tools have been created to make learning an interesting experience, and I think that is the view that Digital Immigrants need to have when approaching Digital Natives. I do however; understand where the Digital Immigrants are coming from. They are used to a specific type of learning and are now in need of learning a whole new ‘language’ in order to effectively teach. I think as an educator, it’s important to be open to new ways of learning and not to simply shut down and refer to the younger generations who have been digitalized as hopeless or not as good as the generations who learned differently. 
It is boring to learn the same way every time. As a college student I can say that the traditional lectures are extremely boring (unless it’s a topic I am passionate about) and when an educator takes the time to use technology to teach it is impressive and commendable, especially if they are a lot older. I have incorporated the use of iPads and other technology (I’m still learning to use the smart board) and if I need help using something, it’s a great learning experience for my students to help me learn the technology because they get to teach as well.

The example used when the author suggest teaching the Holocaust by creating a virtual world is a great example of how to teach in an innovative and interesting way. It is however, necessary to teach the Digital Immigrants, so that they can learn the technology efficiently and teach successfully. I feel that Digital Immigrants (as educators) should learn to teach in an effective way so the Digital Natives can learn and that would mean straying away from a traditional sense of learning.


  1. I love what you said about including technology in the classroom. I agree, teachers can learn from their young students as well. It just sets an example for these kids that learning is a life long process. You can always learn something new, no matter what age you are.

  2. I appreciate your example of teaching through creating a "virtual world" -- great idea for students and teacher to create together!

    I wonder: do you see yourself as a digital native or as a particular generation of a digital native? I ask because you write about younger kids as natives and also the large number of people in a digital native category seems so vast to me. Thanks for posting!

  3. I like as well how you brought up the virtual world as a form of technology in the classroom. I find all of the incorporation of technology a bit scary. This is probably because I did not grow up with it as much. You brought up a lot of points though that made me re-think my own opinions about technology in the classroom!

  4. Not to be beating a dead horse but I agree with the virtual world. I find it a great building experience and a great learning opportunity. Then also to play the devils advocate I feel like technology is over used and people take advantage of that fact with forgetting about the basics. Like anything else in life the good comes with the bad. Thank you for the thoughts.