Digital Natives?

In chapter 7 of his book, Boyd argues that there are not digital natives and digital immigrants. Instead he suggests that today’s students need to be taught how to use technology safely, and effectively to find what they are looking for. It argued that almost no one understands how Google finds its pages, and therefore they believe everything they read off of Google. Boyd argues that it is our job, as teachers, to help create technologically literate individuals that are able to sort out whether or not a site is credible on their own.           Marc Prensky argues that digital natives do exist in his article Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.   He compares digital natives to people when they learn their first language, implying that the knowledge is absorbed into their brains without much active thought, and digital immigrants to people learning a second language, stating that some people will learn more or learn it faster because the brain absorbs a second language differently than it absorbs a first language. Teacher now have the job of teaching the basic or legacy concepts as well as the concepts of the future. These future projects include, technology, engineering, robotics, and ethics. Prensky argues that students are not learning well because they are not interested in how the teachers present material. Think about it. Who would rather go to a presentation than watch funny videos all day?

I tend to agree more with Prensky. I feel that as teachers it is our job to hold our students’ attention and present the information in a way that they can remember it. However, since I was six when Prensky wrote his article I feel that I am a part of the digital native group, not the digital immigrant group. Boyd also brings up a good point that students need to be taught how to find facts on any topic they are looking for. Teachers can give students lists of sites, but until the students know how to find a credible source on their own the teacher have not taught anything. It is hard to know what the future will be like in a society that is growing so rapidly, but it is our job, as educators, to provide our students with the best education possible. I believe that this means teaching they way the students learn, and making content as interesting as possible.



One thought on “Digital Natives?

  1. I see a lot of evidence of grappling with the content here. Learning how to “Teaching the way students learn” is going to be a key goal for you as you proceed on your coursework.


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