Are digital natives "unicorns?"

I've heard Marc Prensky, John Seely Brown and many others talk about "digital natives" (tech savvy and saturated millennials) but I'll be darned if I've ever met one.

I work at Columbus State, which has the largest enrollment of distance learners in the state. I do not talk with students of a regular basis but I do with faculty. None of them say that their students are way ahead of them on the technology learning curve. In fact, I hear just the opposite.

So is the death of the text-literate student greatly exaggerated? I have four half-baked theories:
  1. I am at an urban community college that serves a population that does have the wealth that can support the toys of digital consumption;
  2. Playing with digital technology does not mean that one knows how to learn with it;
  3. Digital natives are the educational technologists' unicorn, a mythical entity that supports a vision of tech-enabled learning; or
  4. We only see what our pedagogy allows us to see. We are populated by closet digital natives but we do not engage them in their language.
What is your experience?

Technorati Tags: ,


At 1:37 PM, March 07, 2006, Blogger Laura said...

Interesting discussion. WHat a great lecturer. I'm looking forward to seeing the videotape.

I think that the digital natives are a unicorn, but they don't think so. They are experts in IM, Facebok, and mySpace, so they know everything they need to know about computers. Anything else is just irrelevant.

Books he mentioned that I'll have to read:

Blink: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316172324/qid=1141756398/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/104-7288971-1637541?s=books&v=glance&n=283155


At 1:50 PM, March 07, 2006, Blogger Laura said...



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home