“ I’ve coined the term digital native to refer to today's
students (2001). They are native speakers of technology,
fluent in the digital language of computers, video games,
and the Internet. I refer to those of us who were not born
into the digital world as digital immigrants . We have
adopted many aspects of the technology, but just like
those who learn another language later in life, we retain
an "accent" because we still have one foot in the past.
We will read a manual, for example, to understand a
program before we think to let the program teach itself.
Our accent from the predigital world often makes it difficult
for us to effectively communicate with our students.“
(Prensky, “Listen to the Natives” 9).
Meet the 21 st Century Family… John – Baby Boomer Digital Immigrant Pam – Baby Boomer Digital Immigrant Alex – Gen Y Digital Native Abby – Gen Y Digital Native Givi – Gen Y Digital Native Geoff – Gen Y Digital Native The 21 st century homeplace
I sent and received over 4300 text messages last month Family Member Uses for technology Favorite tools Wow moment John immigrant Work (word processing, desktop publishing, email); Pleasure (music, communication) iPod, mobile phone, desktop computer “ I can fit my entire collection of record albums on my iPod. We’re talking hundreds of albums.” Pam immigrant Work (word processing, desktop publishing, email); Social Networking Facebook, Twitter, Live Journal, Skype I don’t have the skill of multitasking. My kids remind me quite often. Alex native Everything! Ebooks, school, Social Networking, Around Me (GPS), Podcasts of favorite radio shows *iPhone, netbook, World of Warcraft online gaming Alex manages an online gaming guild with 123 members from across the East coast. Abby native Communication, school Skype and VOIP phone service; Facebook Abby was able to take the family on a tour of her new home, 9000 miles away in Oceania. Givi native Ebooks, entertainment (movies and TV), digital art, word processing, school iPod, laptop, Wacom Bamboo tablet Nothing about technology surprises her. “I have high expectations, but I’m not wowed by the tools.” Geoff native Communication, Online Gaming Mobile phone for texting, Turtle Beach wireless headset for Xbox, Xbox live “ I can play Modern Warfare II with kids from across the globe. Plus, I can play games with Robert [his brother-in-law in Guam] on my team.”
A conversation between a digital Immigrant and a digital native
Me: What is your favorite technology?
Alex: I’d have to say pencil and paper, and the remote control.
Me: (no words, puzzled look…)
Alex: Technology by definition is anything that makes life easier.
Proof positive that we do not think about things the same way…
Oh… and you thought I was exaggerating? 4346 text msgs + 53 mm msgs 4399 messages Geoff’s phone usage summary for one month
Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants Digital Learners Digital Immigrants
Have no memory of life before the internet
Have grown up with computers, the Internet, mobile phones, video games, and mp3 players
“ They are web savvy multitaskers, able watch TV, surf the web, listen to music, and talk or text on their phones, often performing several of these things at the same time.” (Perez).
Have learned to use technologies as they have been introduced
Share a skepticism of the value and necessity of the technology. They look at the technologies as gadgets – more as amusements than tools.
Have an accent – that is, “they maintain one foot in the past while stepping into the present.” (Prensky, “Listen to the Natives 9).
Now, condense your description. Write it Twitter-style. You are limited to 140 characters.
How can you use Twitter in your classroom? Announce good news Reminders for assignments Technology tips/homework hints
What does this digital divide have to do with us as teachers?
“ As educators, we must take our cues from our students‘ 21st century innovations and behaviors, abandoning, in many cases, our own predigital instincts and comfort zones. Teachers must practice putting engagement before content when teaching. They need to laugh at their own digital immigrant accents, pay attention to how their students learn, and value and honor what their students know.” (Prensky, “Listen to the Natives” 10)
“When I was in kindergarten, I poked Scott really hard with a pencil…once. I quickly learned not to use that pencil like that again. If teachers teach kids how to use the tools the right way from the beginning, there won’t be a problem.”
Eighth grader Lily B. on using taboo technologies in the classroom.
“ We don’t have a problem switching genres. It is just like they way we behave differently with our grandparents than we do with our friends. I know the difference between SMS and SEAE. Sure, sometimes I might slip up and spell your with two letters, but that is because I am in a hurry… or maybe just because I know it will get on a teacher’s nerves.”
Eighth grader Madison S. on if all of this texting is having a negative impact on writing skills.
What (academic task) can you do with a(n)… You have two minutes… Cell phone iPod or other handheld (PSP, Nintendo DSi, etc.) Social Networking Site (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace)
“ From computers to calculators to MP3 players to camera phones, these tools are like extensions of their brains. Educating or evaluating students without these tools makes no more sense to them than educating or evaluating a plumber without his or her
“… the digital environment builds on the interests and needs of students. With ready access to computers and a wide range of mobile devices, many students already are familiar with available technology tools and use them all the time, particularly for entertainment purposes.” (Dessoff 40).
What (academic task) can you do with a(n)… Cell phone iPod or other handheld (PSP, Nintendo DSi, etc.) Social Networking Site (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace)
Text message... notes,
directions, links to websites
Google for answers, maps, or images
Look up words
Watch video clips
Film videos, take pictures, send pictures and videos to friends or teachers
Store pictures and video
Quick research on Wikipedia, Encarta, or World Book
Look up current events
Find locations (GPS)
Network with people from around the globe
Practice communication skills
Calculate (calculator app)
2-12 in cell phone list (see left column)
Transport files (like a flash drive)
1,4,6,9 , 11, and 12 in cell phone list (see left column)
Send or save longer text selections (Facebook, My Space) or shorter ones (Twitter)
Give me a synonym for each highlighted word. Bonus points to anyone who can explain how knowledge of word parts or related words could increase understanding.
“ Pragmatically , our 21st century kids‘ education is quickly bifurcating . The formal half, "school," is becoming an increasingly moribund and irrelevant institution.” (Prensky , “Listen to the Natives”13).
Well she was an American girl Raised on promises She couldn't help thinkin' that there Was a little more to life Somewhere else After all it was a great big world With lots of places to run to Yeah, and if she had to die Tryin' she Had one little promise she was gonna keep
CONYERS — Some Rockdale County classes are getting new language textbooks next school year, but officials at Rockdale County Public Schools are still watching the budget.
The Rockdale County Board of Education unanimously approved last week the adoption of three textbooks for middle and high school students. The item was part of a consent agenda during the board’s regular monthly meeting. Board member Jeff Dugan was absent from the meeting.
RCPS Superintendent Samuel King said the $506,358 textbooks are the only ones the board will approve this year, which is less than what it normally is presented, as RCPS officials expect a drop in revenue next school year. He added that these texts are needed for students, as, unlike the current books, they are in line with the new Georgia Performance Standards curriculum.
… This textbook adoption could be one of the last for the school board. King said he and his cabinet members are in discussions about how to phase out textbooks and instead use ebooks, which are used online and on computers.
“ Not tomorrow,” King said, adding that this process could take some time and the costs would need to be considered. “That’s the norm now. You know how quickly information changes. There are some huge potential benefits.”
CONYERS — Officials at Rockdale County Public Schools have changed the Student Behavior Code to include more sanctions for inappropriate cell phone usage at schools, and more changes could come later.
At the Rockdale County Board of Education work session last week, Garrett Brundage, executive director of Support Services at RCPS, informed the board of he updated code to include rules and regulations regarding cyber bullying and using cell phones to spread obscene actions.
Brundage said students have been known to send inappropriate text messages and pictures using cell phones, and schools also have experienced bullying
over the Internet and with cell phones.“That created a need for us as a school system to respond,” he said.
Gene Baker, assistant superintendent in the Office of School Improvement at RCPS, said students have access to computers in all of the schools but software blocks many sites that cause such problems.“But that doesn’t prevent it,” he said.
Brundage and RCPS Superintendent Samuel King told board members that students are allowed to bring their cell phones inside the school building, but they must be off during the school day and stored in their backpacks or lockers. That could change in the future, King said.
“ This is the first step to update our regulation,” he said.
School board member Darlene Hotchkiss said she appreciated RCPS officials for reviewing policies like this from time to time.“Doing something like this
gives us the opportunity to look ahead and not necessarily let us be caught in the middle,” she said.
Education consortiums like the Southern Regional Education Board . They say that use of technology for learning is a key practice for improving student achievement.
“ Provide opportunities for middle grades students and teachers to explore and use technology, such as word processing, electronic presentations and Web design skills, for improving knowledge and skills in English/language arts, reading, mathematics, science, social studies, and exploratory courses through the use of research-based instructional practices.” (SREB, “Making Middle Grades Work”).
The Partnership for 21 st Century Skills advocates the teaching of three Rs and four Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, communication and creativity and innovation).
They support the development of the Common Core State Standards and have partnered with 14 states to fuse the 21 st century skills with the CCSS. Unfortunately, Georgia is not one of these fourteen states.