I realized in reading some more for the online class I’m taking, that it’s difficult to take information out of a book and put it into practice, especially technology. Is this what it’s like to be a Digital Immigrant? I think it must be — seems that nothing in technology comes easily from books for me but give me a chance to use it and then use it consistently and I’ve got it….
Of course this reference to being a DI as opposed to a DN (Digital Native) is from Will Richardson whose book we are reading for my online class: “Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms” (copyright 2006 by Corwin Press).
links: http://weblogg-ed.com/ If you want more of Will Richardson’s comments about his adventures, check here.
There seem to be two main questions I find myself dealing with here as an educator: 1) how differently do my students today learn as compared to how I learned several decades ago and how can I get past this, and 2) how important is content, such as for my science classes, going to be in the future for my students if they find it difficult to think linearly and want to grab onto information here and there and then try to put it all together?
On one hand, maybe the main teachers for these students are going to have to be other young people who think the way they do, who are wired the way they are. I hope we have lots of new teachers coming on board out there if this is true. Can we present educators truly change the way our students are educated in a broad enough way to make any real inroads in the near future, or are these children going to be technologically deprived for years to come? Every year I send another group of students from 8th grade over to the high school and I wonder if I’ve done enough to help prepare these students for the real world they will be encountering. Maybe using up-to-date technology is one of the only ways I can help right now.
I still wonder about the content areas we are supposed to be teaching and the fact that it’s so linear….Does this need to be changed as well, or do we keep plugging along as we are? Remembering that I teach grades 5 through 8, I seriously wonder how much I show these students about the technology of the read-write web and ways to handle all the information that is available to them besides what little they are introduced to in my classrooms.
Then I remember that a little is better than nothing, for some of these students and their parents, especially those who still don’t have any kind of Internet connectivity except at school. Maybe plugging along is okay sometimes….