Reflections about a technological world...
In other word's, digital technologies are allowing us to think in whole new ways. Further, the speed in which these technologies are being created and changing keeps us on our toes. To our students, this is second-nature them. They do not get the problems that their older teachers and parents may be having with all of this. Basically, it is change and it is coming at us faster than ever. Change in Education has always been met with resistance, but, now, instead of the Evolution of Education, we have a Revolution of Education.
To understand some of the resistance, we can look at the purpose, or function, of Education. But, of course, it depends who you ask, and do we mean, "What should the purpose of education be?" versus, "What is the purpose of our present education system?"
Of course rote and memorization and facts and 'only one right answer' is all very measurable. But, critical thinking skills and creativity - how on Earth do you quantify that? You can, however, see the results of this new thinking by looking at what our students are producing; by listening to what they are saying; by looking at the jobs the first of the Digital Natives are doing. We are beginning to be able to see what the effects on our world are that Digital Technologies are enabling.
"Kids have it too easy, nowadays. They don't have to find anything. It makes them lazy. When I went to school, if I wanted to know something, I had to physically look for the answers in books, such as encyclopedias, maybe even in the library. Kids, today, just use Google and the answer comes up. They can just be lazy. Plus, they can't even add without using calculators!"
Albert Einstein recognized that, "the problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them."
The same person got into a discussion about the state of politics in our city, which is the same in most places, I believe. Everybody complains about the idiocy of government, but instead of taking the chance to elect an all-new council, only 3 out of 15 were new, and the Mayor was similar in age and beliefs as the last bunch of mayors. Thus, the grumbling and complaining persists.
Digital Natives are those who grew up with digital technology from birth, whereas Digital Immigrants are those who were already socialized in predigital ways when digital technology arrived on the scene. For more information, see Prensky (2001).
Our students are Digital Natives, myself and many of my colleagues are Digital Immigrants, but many people are just Analogue, I guess.