Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Teaching Today’s Generation
Definitions • Digital Native, n. : A technology user under the age of 30, who was born into the digital world. • Digital Immigrant, n. : A technology user, usually over the age of 30, who was not born into the digital world. “Digital Culture: Immigrants and Tourists…” Cheri A Toledo
Characteristics of a Digital Native • Used to instantaneity of information • Like to parallel process and multi task • Random access as opposed to a process • Thrive on instant gratification and frequent rewards • Prefer games to serious work • Little patience for lectures • Crave interactivity and have shorter attention spans for old ways of learning • Lost the ability to reflect
Characteristics of a Digital Immigrant Teacher • Don’t believe that students can learn by watching TV or listening to music • Think learning can or shouldn’t be fun • Turn to internet second instead of first • Teach slowly, step-by-step, one thing at a time • Believe in tell-test instruction • Speaks from an “out dated” language • Would rather teach from traditional methods
Behaviors Digital Native Digital Immigrant • Google on the internet • Pop in a CD or installer wizard • “The more the merrier” • Pick up a newspaper book or journal • Read the manual • “Step by Step” “Digital Culture: Immigrants and Tourists…” Cheri A Toledo
Alternative Models • Digital reclusive model – need to function, not a choice • Digital refugee model – unwillingly forced to use technology, prefers paper • Digital immigrant model – willingly uses technology • Digital native model – chooses to use technology • Digital explorer model – uses technology to push the envelope, seeks new tools • Digital innovator model– adapts and changes • Digital addict model – dependent on technology, goes through withdrawal • Digital tourist model – One still reluctant to purchase a a computer “Digital Culture: Immigrants and Tourists…” by Cheri Toledo
Mind Shift • Methodology: Need to learn to communicate in the language of their students. • Content: Legacy and Future Legacy – Traditional curriculum Future – Digital and technological curriculum
Changing Brains, Changing Minds • Neuroplasticity – brain structures reorganize based on continual input received over a period of time • Malleability – one’s thinking pattern changes depending on one’s experiences • Different experiences = different development • Different culture = different thinking • Different areas of the brain are larger and more developed than others based on the amount of repeated experience
Digital Game Based Learning • They are bored by today’s traditional classroom and are needing something to capture their attention • Need to be well designed, well desired games and produce learning • Not simple drill and kill • Combined creatively with real content • An increase in popularity of games • “Games make use of the principle of play as an instructional strategy.” • Games bring cognitive disequilibrium and resolution to content standards. • Address’ educational and entertainment equally • Many times blends strategy with action and role playing “Digital Game-Based Learning…” by Richard Van Eck
Research in Favor • “Will we realize the potential that DGBL has to revolutionize how students learn?” • Increased popularity of games produces increased interest in skills on those games • Research that is against is “mistaking technology use for technology integration” - if the technology does not align, then do not use - poor results when just using any game with no proven positive results just for gaming sake • Integrating media by alignment with instruction shows more of a difference in results • “Educators are now moving toward technology integration, pre-service teacher training, emphasizing alignment of the curriculum with the technology.” “Digital Game-Based Learning…” by Richard Van Eck
Research in Favor Cont. • Immigrants have a type of accent to the digital natives. • As traditional immigrants, digital immigrants need to be acclimated to the behaviors and nuances. • Digital Immigrants need to be immersed in the digital age. • Teachers who decide to immerse themselves in the digital world will find they have less of an accent. Therefore will be more effective. “Digital Culture: Immigrants and Tourists…” Cheri A Toledo
Research Against Research Characterizing the relationship between age computer experience and literacy. • Research conducted from a multi-site study of 2,000 pre-service teachers between 2001 and 2004 showed no statistically significant difference with regard to information and communication technology among different age groups for either pre-program or post-program surveys. • Pre-service teachers arrived in the program with varying levels of ICT competency, ranged from 20-60 years old, and were mostly female. “Digital natives, digital immigrants…” R. Dobson Guo
Research Against Results of Four different Hypotheses: • Age and Perceptions of ICT Competencies-It showed there was no statistical difference between the four age groups but there was a statistically significant difference between the age groups when the N/A group (group did not provide age information) was included. • Interaction of Age and ICT Score-The distribution of scores was parallel indicating that all the groups of teachers had higher ICT scores at the end of the program; however, there was a statistically significant difference between the N/A Group and the age groups. • The Digital Divide-There was no indication of significant differences between the age group 20-24 (digital natives) and the group over 25 (digital immigrants). • Interaction of Age (Digital Divide), Pre- and Post-Program ICT Scores-There was no statistically significant interaction between age and program change in the tests. “Digital natives, digital immigrants…” R. Dobson Guo
Research Against • Qualitative evidence observed in different environments since this study shows support for these findings that there is no difference in effective use of technology teaching in pre- and in-service teachers born after 1980 and those born before. • This study suggests that the differences between digital natives and digital immigrants have been exaggerated. “Digital natives, digital immigrants…” R. Dobson Guo
Research Against Cont. • Hierarchy of terms in ‘digital native’ discourse: subordinate (immigrant) vs. dominant (student) • ‘Student needs’ are market-driven and marketed • ‘Immigrant’ term is a metaphor with an underlying negative connotation • Constructs of the digital world: Can it be defined by what is included vs. excluded? The ‘digital native’ and ‘digital immigrant’ by Bayne & Ross
VanSlyke’s Disagreements • We are harming students by de-emphasizing “legacy” content. We should be placing an even greater emphasis on critical thinking and research skills. • Not all students fit the stereotype that Prensky has created. Can a computer game adapt its lessons to meet the following diversities? • Some students have disabilities. • Some students are not interested in computer games. • Some students do not have computers at home.
VanSlyke’s Disagreements Continued… • The computer does not make an effective teacher. The computer is only a tool, and the learner and the teacher are the mediators. • Not all technology-assisted learning needs to be presented in the typical Digital Native format to be heard or understood by a Digital Native. They are capable of using processes that Digital Immigrants are familiar with. Example – Video game discussion groups.
Conclusion This topic has been frequently discussed; it is important to remember that these terms digital immigrant and digital native are metaphors and not a fact. There is persuasive research supporting both sides.
References • Bayne, S., Ross, J. (2007). The ‘digital native’ and ‘digital immigrant’: A dangerous opposition. Presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for Research into Higher Education. Retrieved June 15, 2009, from http://www.malts.ed.ac.uk/staff/sian/natives_final.pdf • Guo, R., Dobson, T., & Petrina, S. (2008). Digital natives, digital immigrants: An analysis of age and ICT competency in teacher education. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 38(3), 235-254. Retrieved June15, 2009, from ERIC database. • Toledo, C. (2007). Digital culture: Immigrants and tourists, responding to the natives’ drumbeat. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 19(1), 84-92. Retrieved June 15, 2009, from hhtp:/www.isetl.org/ijtlhe/ • VanSlyke, T. (2003). Digital natives, digital immigrants: Some thoughts from the generation gap. The Techonology Source. Retrieved June 15, 2009, from http:/depd.wisc.eduhtml/TSarticlesDigital%20Natives.htm • Van Eck, R. (2006). Digital game-based learning: It’s not just the digital natives who are restless. EDUCASE Review, (41)2. Retrieved June 15, 2009, from http://www.autzones.com/din6000/textes/semaine12/Eck(2006).pdf