Digital natives

I ran across this article on a book we read in one of my classes. Check it out…I think Palfrey and Gasser are really hitting upon some major points, especially since our students are growing up in a digital age.

It’s funny I ran across all of this tonight, especially after the debate I found myself in today with people who didn’t think there were such things as “digital natives.” My argument to them is that in the classroom today, there are many disconnects. Between teachers and students, students and technology, and the list goes on. Teachers aren’t always helping enhance their digital natives’ (aka students) literacy skills. Instead, they are stuck to traditional styles like rocks…refusing to branch into the new contemporary realms (aka working with multiliteracies). Or perhaps they don’t like the idea of “new” because when they do try to branch out, they are unsure and “digified thingys” just don’t work for them. (A perfect example of this would be my anxiety-filled CT in the computer lab.) 

The bottom line is, we, as educators, may not understand all of the “digification” going on around us, but if we are not flexible with the changing times, we will ultimately be failing our students…and failing them greatly.

(After all, they may know about all those digified thingys, it’s our job to show them why they do what they do, how they can improve it, why it all matters, etc. Because if we don’t, “students will gain a diploma but lost contact with the long history and tradition of what it is we do” [Gurak and Hill Duin, 2004].)


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