Technology teacher Mary Beth Hertz writes on Edutopia that teachers need to beware of the "dangerous" stereotype that all students these days are "digital natives."
|Scooped by Byron Marroquin|
This blog explores the misconception that all new generations are "digital natives," meaning that they are proficient at using technology. An article written in Edutopia (http://www.edutopia.org/blog/digital-native-digitial-citizen-stereotype-mary-beth-hertz) discusses why this stereotype is a myth.
Just because students know how to use an electronic device, such as an ipad, it does not mean that they are able to use it to "create, read critically, use online content responsibly,"as the blog post puts it. There was a study done in Ethiopia by a nonprofit organization called One Laptop Per Child. They gave children andriod tablets to enable them to learn English without the help of an adult. The study found that they were in fact able to learn how to use the device, learn the language through apps, and even override some of the functions on the device. But, this does not mean that they can critically read and think. What the aritlce is trying to convey is that there are multiple levels of knowing how to use technology.
What the author, Hertz, is also trying to convey is that teachers should not assume that students know how to use technology in an educationally responsible manner. I think that is one of the inherit flaws of this technological age, the fact that there is too much information out there, and that students more likely than not, do not know how to distinguish a credible source from a noncredible source. I think moving forward, students need to be taught these type of skills in order to be successful using the world wide web.
I notice that middle school students often rely on search engines like Google to look up information. During my last observation at the middle school, the teacher said he was going to create an in-class debate the following week. One students said, "I am going to win; I am going to look up all the facts on Google." I wonder if this student properly knows what is considered a credible source. Growing up, computers were sparse, so we learned mostly from textbooks. I was taught the difference between primary and secondary sources. Now that our technological age has changed our classroom dynamics, I wonder if the fundamentals of learning have evolved to meet the needs of the new generations. If eductors do not react quickly to changing trends, they may be creating generations that are deviod of some very basic fundamentals.