Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants Presented By: Cara Boening, Alicia Boles, Deborah Burns
What’s the Difference? Digital Immigrants Digital Natives Turn to the Internet for information second rather than first Read the manual for a program, rather than allowing the program to teach them how to use it Print out a document on the computer to edit or read it Show people a website rather than sending them the URL Speak the digital language of computers, video games, and the Internet Like to receive information really fast Prefer graphics before text Function best when networked Thrive on instant gratification and frequent rewards Prefer games to “serious” work
According to Prensky The biggest problem facing education is “Digital Immigrant” teachers speak an outdated language and are struggling to teach a population that speaks a new language. They are often inflexible or unwilling to change. These teachers think learning can not or should not be fun. Digital Immigrant teachers assume that learners are the same as they have always been, and the same methods that worked for the them when they were students will work for their students now.
According to Prensky • Neuroplasticity • The brain changes and organizes itself differently based on the inputs it receives • It is constantly changing during our child and adult lives • Malleability • Thinking process is carried out differently by each individual • Requires hard work • Attention Spans • Digital natives crave interactivity, an immediate response to their each and every action • Traditional schooling provides very little of this compared to the rest of the world • Digital natives are able to pay attention, but choose not to
Article: Video Games in Schools… When kids learn in an engaging, motivating environment with research-based, standards-aligned curriculum, their test scores soar. DimensionM games meets today’s digital students with a highly interactive 3D gaming format, likes the games they play everyday. These math video games allow the student to have fun while learning math concepts, and they develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Students who played the math game over a 18 week period scored significantly higher on benchmark tests, than students who did not play.
Article: Reflections • Digital Native students are far ahead of teachers • Creativity and innovation are prevalent in today’s society • With new technology, would push students to focus on problem solving • However, problem solving is messy and requires trial and error • Problems with Technology • Begin as exciting and unfamiliar challenges lead to boring and familiar exercises • Worry that some complex problems (in math) won’t be able to be solved by this generation • Deals with more processes and steps than can be taught by a game • Agrees with Prensky’s view that teachers have a great deal of learning to do.
Article: The Spectator More than 2,000 years ago, Socrates warned about a different information revolution— the rise of the written word, which he considered a more superficial way of learning than the oral tradition. Recently, the arrival of television sparked concerns that it would make children more violent. Some brain scientists think that the micro-world is changing the way we learn, read and interact with each other.
Article: The Spectator • A psychiatrist at the University of California, Dr. Gary Small, agrees that daily exposure to digital technologies can alter how the brain works. • His concern is when the brain spends more time on technology related tasks and less time exposed to other people, it drifts away from fundamental social skills such as: • reading facial expressions during conversation • social awkwardness • inability to interpret non-verbal messages • less interest in traditional classroom learning • isolation
Our Thoughts • Technology advances, and it is here to stay. Therefore, we should teach our students in a “digital native” language. • However, we have questions and concerns. • What happens to the role of the teacher? • Will the student’s have no interaction with their peers and lose their social skills? • Will the student’s get bored with the same programs and games? • The school districts might not be able to keep up with technology, due to costs and fast advances with technology. So will we always be behind?
Sources Prensky, Marc. “Digital natives, Digital Immigrants.” On the Horizon Vol. 9, Oct. 2001. Prensky, Marc. “Do They Really Think Differently?” On the Horizon Vol. 9, Dec. 2001. “Video Games in Schools to Help Millions of Students Improve Math Skills.” ProQuest 21 Jan. 2009. Clausen-May, Tandi. “Reflections.” ProQuest Mar. 2007. Ritter, Malcolm. “The Spectator.” ProQuest Dec. 2008.