First I would like to begin commenting on the videos that I watched about generational differences. The introduction video got me thinking about what labels I would give to my students. The labels that stuck out to me most were:
Tech savvy/Digital natives
I believe that each of these titles closely matches the students that I have today in my classroom. Conversely, there were titles that I do not believe match the current students that I have today. They are:
Some of my students do not display these characteristics. Although there are times that the students have high expectations and want to achieve, these desires seem to get easily overran by their desire for things to happen instantly.
The second video that I watched had college students in it who held up signs. I didn't really understand the point of the video at first until the end when the hours spent in a day doing various tasks were calculated and it equaled 26.5. It made me think how many hours a day I spend doing things. As I type this, I am thinking about vacuuming, starting to prepare dinner, putting in grades, taking a shower and much more. We are definitely a generation of multitasking people.
The second video hit a little closer to home. This video had young students hold up signs about how they learn. Many of the signs expressed that they learn best digitally and yet their teachers rarely incorporate technology into their lessons. This video reaffirmed why I teach technology and made me remember that I am so lucky to teach a subject that we use technology every day. It's not a mystery as to why my class is a favorite of most students.
On to the readings..."Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants" was an interesting read. I agree with most of what Mr. Prensky said especially while describing digital natives. Concerning digital natives, Prensky stated, "They prefer their graphics before their text rather than the opposite. They prefer random access (like hypertext). They function best when networked. They thrive on instant gratification and frequent rewards. They prefer games to “serious” work". (Prensky) I completely agree with this description of digital natives because I see it daily in my own classroom.
Although I agree with the article as a whole, there were a couple things that I do not totally agree with. Prensky stated, "Digital Immigrants don't believe their students can learn successfully while watching TV or listening to music, because they (the Immigrants) can't. Of course not – they didn't practice this skill constantly for all of their formative years. Digital Immigrants think learning can't (or shouldn't) be fun. Why should they – they didn't spend their formative years learning with Sesame Street" (Prensky).I do not agree with his assessment that digital immigrants think that learning cannot be fun or students cannot watch TV or listen to music to learn. Every teacher I know is constantly trying to keep their lessons engaging all while making them fun and educational. I also do not agree that the reason why students are not engaged and learning is because of the way they are being taught. Being a technology teacher, I CONSTANTLY use technology and allow my students to explore and have fun with their highly engaging and interactive assignments, however, some students just choose not to engage. That cannot be blamed on the educator all of the time.
The next reading...Wow! I should have probably read both articles first before reading one and then blogging and reading the second and then blogging. The author of the second article, Jamie McKenzie, basically takes Prensky's article and rips it to shreds. She too shares the same feeling as myself about the fact that digital immigrants do not completely ignore that students need technology and engagement in order to be successful. She does a great job quoting him and backing up her statements with evidence. I was also shocked about the whole section where Prensky wasn't even citing the correct doctor. Really makes you questions the validity of his article!
Until next time...
"Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants." Marc Prensky. On the Horizon (NCB University Press, Vol. 9 No. 5, October 2001)