Sunday, September 13, 2020

CURMUDGUCATION: About Those Digital Natives

CURMUDGUCATION: About Those Digital Natives

About Those Digital Natives

Now that so many schools are leaping back into the ed tech abyss with both feet and a few other limbs as well, the term "digital native" is turning up again, and it's just as silly as ever. Everyone who is scared about facing off against the digital native tribe in the digitized computerized distance learning world needs to take a deep breath.

The term was coined by Marc Prensky, a writer who began his career as a teacher and who wrote an article about the topic in 2001.

On the one hand, he has a bit of a point. When a culture transitions from one medium to another, there are bumps. Go back to when a culture moves from oral to written, and you'll find a bunch of old farts complaining about how Kids These Days don't have any of the old skills and they can't tell stories and they don't remember things as well. The transition to a digital world is going to have some transitional problems of the same sort.

Still, I taught digital natives for years, and they have become gradually less and less tech-capable. Mostly what most digital natives know is how to work their favorite phone apps.

This is the normal trajectory for new tech. When automobiles first emerged, everyone who owned one also owned a tool box and work gloves, because if you were going to have a car, you needed to CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: About Those Digital Natives