Digital Native Reevaluated
There is a common line of thinking that students have an inherent advantage to teachers when it comes to the use of technology (Prensky, 2010). Prensky (2010) coined the terms digital native and digital immigrant. The term digital native refers to those who grow up exposed to technology. Conversely, a digital immigrant has not grown up around technology. This is not always true. There are those for whom English is a second language but they speak the language better than those who grew up in an English speaking environment.
This thought process can hinder teachers who make the mistake of simply accepting it. Teachers need to be willing to look for opportunities to try new technologies in their classrooms. It is through risks like this that we grow and evolve as educators. This is similar to the way we encourage our students to take risks so increased growth can occur. Taking risks does not mean jumping right in full speed ahead either. There is nothing wrong with proceeding with caution and thoughtfulness as along as the effort is there.
So try something new out. Integrate a new technology into your teaching. Maybe something new on a Smart board. A new assessment technique using Polleverywhere or Socrative. Try out the new resource in a lesson you are familiar with. Maybe it will work perfect, maybe it won’t, maybe it will prove to have potential with some tweaking. Either way, as learner we only grow by pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone.
Prensky, M. R. (2010). Teaching digital natives: Partnering for real learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.