Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Digital Natives

My son made an interesting comment to me the other day which I felt epitomised digital natives. He said that whenever he picks up a new piece of equipment, be it a camera, mobile or whatever which has a memory chip in it, it is as if the info on how to operate the equipment is automatically downloaded to his brain and he knows how to operate it (without reading a manual)! While his comment was made tongue-in-cheek, I felt that it captured the essence of their ease and adaptability with new devices.

6 comments:

Mark said...

Hi Karen

Welcome to the wonderful world of edublogging.

I know what you mean about the natives. Though as the resident geek/tech guy in my area, the gadget usually gets handed to me if it doesnt work according to the "downloaded to the brain" instructions.

Looking forward to following your journey, not just into web2.0, but through education in general.

Kazzm said...

Hi Mark

Thanks for the warm welcome. There is always something new to learn which suits me as a passionate lifelong learner. After viewing your blog I checked out Technorati and signed up.

Chris said...

Hi Karen,

You know I am coming to the conclusion that the digital native status is not necessarily a function of age though.. I know many kids who are not as comfortable with digital technology as me, and I feel totally at home with it. I bumped into another teacher the other day who felt the same and actually made the same comment, that she felt like a digital native. We are both in our mid 40s.

I don't know why, but this stuff has always made sense to me...

Kazzm said...

Hi Chris

On the one hand I feel like you ie a digital native, (and I'm late 40's) however I was just reading a work in progress by Mark Prensky http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Pre
-The_Emerging_Online_Life_of_the_Digital_Native-03.pdf
"The Emerging Online Life of the Digital Native What they do differently because of technology,and how they do it" and I had to admit to myself that as much as I would like to think I am a digital native I just don't quite fit the bill! For eg My own kids use Blogs for emotional purposes as noted by Prensky, whereas I use them for intellectual purposes. I think the distinction between natives and immigrants lies not in the skill base so much as in their reasons for using the technology.

I have 2 children, one a self-proclaimed nerd while the other uses Bebo and music sharing sites but is certainly not a computer whiz - I would rank myself as somewhere between the two so I can appreciate your comment about "kids who are not as comfortable with digital technology as me" I guess the most important thing is to allow the natives to forge ahead while we guide the kids who aren't quite as comfortable.

plu said...

It is also more to do with a preferred mode of learning. In new classes at the beginning of the year I ask my students the question "if you recieved a video player how would you go about setting it up."

Responses vary from trial and error, read manual,trial and error then manual, ring someone....

Good luck with your web2.0 musings.

MArtin

Kazzm said...

Thats a good point Martin. I'll have to remember to try that. Have you found a consistent spread of preferences or does it vary?