Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants
Today I sent an email to all the educators who filled out my online survey Teaching Design, Teaching Software. Here's what it said:
"...the single biggest problem facing education today is that our Digital Immigrant instructors, who speak an outdated language (that of the pre-digital age), are struggling to teach a population that speaks an entirely new language."
Dear Design Educator...
Does this quote make sense to you? It sure does to me. I AM a Digital Immigrant, and you probably are too.
These terms come from author/educator Marc Prensky and were first mentioned to me by Professor Dave McGill of Azusa Pacific University. Prensky explains the difference in this way:
"Our students today are all “native speakers” of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet...Those of us who were not born into the digital world but have, at some later point in our lives, become fascinated by and adopted many or most aspects of the new technology are, and always will be compared to them, Digital Immigrants."
[read the article and much more at MarcPrensky.com]
TROUBLE IN PARADISE?
You and 125 others recently completed my online "Teaching Design, Teaching Software" survey. At the bottom of this email you can see some results: how much time people spend teaching software and how this varies among schools. You'll also see that most instructors think their current teaching methods are working quite well, and also speculate that their students agree.
I'm not so sure.
On my recent visit to eight schools I talked with about a dozen of you, and some of your students. I got a clear sense that we "Digital Immigrants" may not understand the "Digital Natives" as well as we should. I'm asking your help in exploring this question.
WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?
For us to teach more effectively we need to understand where our students are coming from. I've created an online survey specifically for students called LEARNING Design, LEARNING Software. It asks similar questions to the one you filled out but adds a few about students' non-academic activities like game-playing, texting, etc. The survey results - which you'll receive if your class participates - will give you insights into who your students are, how they spend their time, and their views of how they are being taught.
With 125 educators on my list, if each one has just one class fill out the survey that will be over 1,000 replies, enough to provide at least a small window into how students think.
If you can help by telling design students about the survey I'd really appreciate the help. Here's a link to the student survey: www.tinyurl.com/learningdesign
Grass-fed beef update
...better for us, better for the animals, and maybe better tasting. I'll give you the verdict on that last part when we eat the stuffed peppers tomorrow. Maybe with a side of stewed green tomatoes.
I thought the beef was OK, nothing fabulous—although there was virtually no fat in it and it was undoubtedly better for us. Joanne said it didn't taste very "beefy."
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