Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Digital Natives

I would consider myself a "digital native," as Marc Prensky describes in his article, Listen to the Natives. I grew up using computers in school and at home. I am very familiar with how to use the internet. However, I got my first cell phone when I turned 16, unlike the countless 6-year-olds running around with them in schools today.

Back to the article...Prensky's main point is the importance of engaging our students--getting to know what their interests are, observing how they interact with technology, receiving their input, and transforming the curriculum accordingly. Now, I am completely in favor of engaging students. I believe good teachers--er--educators should get to know their students. I also am all for receiving input from students and adjusting the curriculum. However, Prensky takes it a little too far in my opinion when he writes:

As educators, we must take our cues from our students' 21st century innovations and behaviors, abandoning, in many cases, our own predigital instincts and comfort zones.

Yes, yes, yes, we should take cues from our students. But abandon our own instincts? I think not! We have wisdom to offer our students--wisdom from experience. We can't simply throw that out the window. I think Prensky's intentions are pure and good, but his ideas of how to put those intentions into practice don't hit the mark.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely, take cues from the students. Wisdom is the culmination of experience which they haven't acquired yet!