Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants

I consider myself as a Digital native student, because I prefer to learn by using media, networks and graphics rather than the old 
traditional way.

Marcy Prensky said; today's students think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors. The digital natives Prensky describes are surrounded by digital media to such an extent that their brain structures may be different from those of previous generations. On the other hand, he describes Digital Immigrant teachers as a teachers who are typically have very little appreciation for these new skills that the Natives have acquired and perfected through years of interaction and practice. These skills are almost totally foreign to the Immigrants, who themselves learned – and so choose to teach – slowly, step-by-step, one thing at a time, individually, and above all, seriously. They don't believe their students can learn successfully while watching TV or listening to music, because they can't. They didn't practice this skill constantly for all of their formative years. Digital Immigrants think learning can't be fun.
There are many differences between Digital Immigrant teachers and Digital Native students. Digital Immigrant teachers learned themselves and choose to teach slowly, step-by-step, one thing at a time, individually, and above all, seriously and Digital Native students receiving information really fast. They like to parallel process and multi-task. They prefer their graphics before their text rather than the opposite.
The “digital immigrant accent” can be seen in such things as turning to the Internet for information second rather than first, or in reading the manual for a program rather than assuming that the program itself will teach us to use it. There are a lot of examples of the digital immigrant accent. They include printing out your email and bringing people physically into your office to see an interesting web site (rather than just sending them the URL). Also “Did you get my email?” phone call.

According to Prensky, hat is the biggest serious problem facing education today because our Digital Immigrant instructors, who speak an outdated language, are struggling to teach a population that speaks an entirely new language.

Prensky said; that Kids born into any new culture learn the new language easily, and forcefully resist using the old. He suggested reconsider both our methodology and our content to coup with the Native students. First, our methodology. He said; teachers have to learn to communicate in the language and style of their students. This doesn’t mean changing the meaning of what is important, or of good thinking skills. But it does mean going faster, less step-by step, more in parallel, with more random access, among other things. Second, our content. There are two kinds of content: “Legacy” content and "Future” content.
Prensky said; as educators, we need to be thinking about how to teach both Legacy and Future content in the language of the Digital Natives. The first involves a major translation and change of methodology; the second involves all that PLUS new content and thinking. So we have to invent, but not necessarily from scratch. Adapting materials to the language of Digital Natives has already been done successfully. The solution Prensky proposes is for today's teachers to learn the language of the natives, to speed up instruction, and to provide "random access". Prensky argues for a new way of looking at educational content as well. A category that he calls "legacy content" consists of traditional subjects such as reading, writing, and logical thinking; "future content" is "digital and technological," including such subjects as "software, hardware, robotics, nanotechnology and genomics" as well as the "ethics, politics, sociology, languages, and other things that go with them". His preference for teaching Digital Natives is to invent computer games to do the job, even for the most serious content. After all, it's an idiom with which most of them are totally familiar.
Finally, If Digital Immigrant educators really want to reach Digital Natives, all their students they will have to change. It's high time for them to stop their grousing, and as the Nike motto of the Digital Native generation says, “Just do it!” They will succeed in the long run and their successes will come that much sooner if their administrators support them.

1 comment:

  1. Salam digital native:-)

    Nice summery and suggestions.

    Please copy/check/paste for reducing the font, punctuation, grammar and choice of some words.