Friday, March 2, 2012

Digital natives, Digital immegrants

I consider my self as a digital native student. According to Mark Prensky digital native students are those students who grown up in a digital world, who are using technology and can not live without it. They use technology as away to communicate with thier friends.They have spent their entire lives surrounded by and using computers, videogames, digital music players, video cams, cell phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age. I n contrast, digital Immegrants are those who were not born into the digital world but have, at some later point in our lives, become fascinated by and adopted many or most aspects of the new technology are, and always will be compared to them.
According to Mark, there are many differences between them:
Digital Natives are used to receiving information really fast. They like to parallel process and multi-task. They prefer their graphics before their text rather than the opposite. They prefer random access (like hypertext). They function best when networked. They thrive on instant gratification and frequent rewards. They prefer games to “serious” work.
But Digital Immigrants typically have very little appreciation for these new skills that the Natives have acquired and perfected through years of interaction and practice. These skills are almost totally foreign to the Immigrants, who themselves learned – and so choose to teach – slowly, step-by-step, one thing at a time, individually, and above all, seriously.
He talked about "digital immegrants accent":
The “digital immigrant accent” can be seen in such things as turning to the Internet for information second rather than first, or in reading the manual for a program rather than assuming that the program itself will teach us to use it. Today‟s older folk were "socialized" differently from their kids, and are now in the process of learning a new language. And a language learned later in life, scientists tell us, goes into a different part of the brain.

Prensky’s point of view about the biggest serious problem facing education today is that the digital immigrant teachers are struggling to teach the students who speak an entirely new language.
Should the Digital Native students learn the old ways, or should their Digital Immigrant educators learn the new? According to Prensky, he gave two suggestions:
1-The methodology should change,teachers have to learn to communicate in the language and style of their students. This
doesn’t mean changing the meaning of what is important,
or of good thinking skills. But it does mean going faster, less step-by step, more in parallel, with more random access, among other things.
2-The content,there are now
two kinds of content: “Legacy” content
and “Future” content.
“Legacy” content includes reading, writing, arithmetic, logical thinking, understanding
the writings and ideas of the past, etc .
“Future” content is to a large extent, not surprisingly, digital and technological. But while it includes software, hardware, robotics, nanotechnology, genomics, etc.

As educators, we need to be thinking about how to teach both Legacy and Future content in the language of the Digital Natives. The first involves a major translation and change of methodology; the second involves all that PLUS new content and thinking.

We need to invent Digital Native methodologies for all subjects, at all levels, using our students to guide us. The process has already begun – I know college professors inventing games for teaching subjects ranging from math to engineering to the Spanish Inquisition. We need to find ways of publicizing and spreading their successes.

1 comment:

  1. Salam Ameerah,
    Thanks for summarizing and answering the questions.