Digital Natives,Digital Immigrants
I consider my self as a digital native student, defining digital native students according to Marc Prensky they are native students who grew up using technology, unlike digital immigrant teachers who were not born in the digital world but later on they adopted many aspects of the new technology. He also showed some differences between digital immigrant teachers and digital native students, for example digital immigrant teachers prefer to teach slowly step by step, they also do not believe that students can learn effectively while watching TV or listening to music, they want to teach their students the same way they have been taught, in contrast to digital native students they prefer to learn fast, parallel and multi-task their work process, they also prefer playing games to serious work and graphics grab their attention before texts.
Prensky defined digital immigrant teachers accent as foot in the past, no matter how they become capable of learning the digital style, they still have something in their accent shows that they learnt it from the native digital students, for instance they print out a document rather than just editing it from the screen, they also show their students in class to see an interesting website rather than just sending them the URL because they might not know how to send it via email.
Prensky’s point of view about the biggest serious problem facing education today is that the digital immigrant teachers are struggling to teach the students who speak an entirely new language.
He was confused whether the digital native students have to learn the old way or should their digital immigrants learn the new style, so he gave two suggestions which are:
· Firstly is the methodology of learning should be that the teachers must learn to communicate in the language and style of their students, this does not 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.
· Secondly is the content; there are two kinds of content:
1) Legacy content. 2) Future content.
The legacy content is our traditional curriculum that includes reading, writing, and arithmetic, logical thinking, understanding the writings and ideas of the past etc., it is still important but from a different era, Some of it will continue to be important but some will become less.
The future content is a large extent, digital and technological. It includes software, hardware, robotic, nanotechnology, genomics and many more. It also includes the ethics, politics, sociology, languages and other things that go with them. The future content is interesting to today's students and some people suggested that children should be allowed to use computers as a tool in school.
Prensky’s own preference for teaching digital natives is to invent computer games to do the job, even for the most serious content.
So if digital immigrant educators really want to reach digital native students they will have to change, so they must stop grousing and as the Nike motto of the digital native generation says, “just do it!” It is a message for teachers to change their curriculum quickly in order to teach students effectively, the results will be positive and the students will succeed in the long run and their successes will come much sooner if their teachers support them.