Monday, June 30, 2014

Digital Native vs Digital Immigrant

After reading the text about the digital native and digital immigrant, I was left scratching my head. I wonder how many children either of these men (Barlow and Rushkoff) have come in contact with. The young people that I have met are a mixed bag of digitized skill. Some students struggle to use the internet while others seem to navigate through the web like an experienced traveler. Likewise, some adults that I have met do not even know how to add contacts into their cell phones, while others have have even their vehicles individually digitized to meet their digital needs. Overall, I get the impression that people fear what they do not know. Those that know little about the inner workings of technology do not trust it, nor do they trust those who know it well. They feel the need to name this group of individuals and identify their differences. We all know from experience throughout history that until people truly understand what it is that they do not know, they have difficulty embracing it. I think that is exactly what this book points out in this section.
I think the book also neatly points out that if we buy into this division of them vs. us, we eliminate the possibility of extending our guidance into this vast arena. Young people need the guidance from more experienced adults to sort out fact from fiction and deduce the most credible content from multiple sources. If we remove ourselves from the largest pool of sources that has ever existed, we are doing our young people a terrible disservice.

Immigrant or not?

I am 27 years old. I consider myself to be a digital immigrant that has now been digitized. I am able to navigate through new foreign technology quite well. I am noticing as time progresses that technology is adapting to our needs and becoming much more homogenous. I believe that my acclimation to technology developed through the numerous cell phones that I have owned throughout the decades. I began my cell phone ownership with an old Nokia phone. It was before flip phones became popular. It was very simple in form and did not have a camera, color screen, music storage etc. If fact, I am not even sure if there were different ringtones available. I remember that my phone had a changeable cover and texting took forever! Since then, my cell phones have seemed to become increasingly more technical and complex as time passed. I had no choice but to acclimate in order to continue owning a cell phone!

Other technologies have also been in my life since I was  kid. We did not own a computer until I was in high school but was lucky enough to have a Gameboy and Sega Genesis. Later, in high school, my sisters and I also got a Nintendo 64. As these systems became more complex and added new buttons and commands, our knowledge of technology evolved.

About Me

I like to think that I am a semi-interesting person, though some may beg to differ. I love going for hikes, kayaking, hunting, golfing...pretty much anything outdoors.  I crochet too!

I am a middle school ESL Science teacher at a school in Pawtucket. I attended the University of Rhode Island for my undergraduate degrees and am completing my post graduate degree at Rhode Island College. 
I have two older sisters that drive me nuts, but  I love more than anything. We are each 18 months apart and sometimes I feel like we might as well have been triplets. We annoy the bananas out of each other but they are the only two people in the world that really make me laugh until I cry. 
I love movies like Bridesmaids,  The Labyrinth. I watch Law and Order SVU like a junky, and am also a HUGE fan of Sex in the City. Since getting Netflix though, I must admit that I really miss reruns of The Golden Girls.
 I also really wish that Netflix included more of my favorite old TV shows like Alf, Mork and Mindy, The Carol Burnett Show, and Fraggle Rock.
I try to stay healthy and convince myself that red wine is one of the major healthy food groups that should be consumed every day.

Teaching is the last thing that I expected to be doing as a career, but I could not be happier. I see myself in a lot of my students. They too have the fine-tuned skilled of driving me batty, but make me laugh in equal quantities.