In my group, we have been talking about being digital immigrants as based on Marc Prensky’s article from 2001. We have embraced all kinds of technology as it has become available and have encouraged others to use the tools in working with students, the digital natives. If you are not familiar with Prensky’s thoughts, please take a few minutes to read his explanation.
Having come to my district in 1979, I have always felt fortunate that “technology” tools were always made available to me. Back then, the fact that I had a direct telephone line into the library put me way ahead of the game. I remember fondly how impressed students and teachers were when I could get the most current, up-to-date answer possible…all because I could dial the reference desk at the public library at a moment’s notice! Then an Apple II arrived the next year and I have never looked back.
It has not been an easy journey for me…technology and I do not instinctively understand each other, but I have had great teachers and several people with very large safety nets who have supported my efforts. I do feel very much like an immigrant, aka a pioneer. I always admired what it took for people to leave what was comfortable and strike out in a direction unknown to them. I try to remember that when I am up against the many roadblocks I find in tackling a new technology…that sense of just keep going, the journey will be worth it. And it has been.
Over at the TechLearning Blog, the writer offers this expansion of the digital native and digital immigrant idea. Analogies being one of my favorite ways of understanding new things, I enjoyed his descriptions. I am proud to be outta Kansas, but fear I am stuck being left-footed (and it has nothing to do with being left-handed!), but dream of being a wanna-be.
And yes, I am a digital immigrant with an accent. I do not “get” the cell phone at all…can’t hear on it, can’t figure out all it’s features, and can’t get it to come on about half the time UNLESS it is hiding in my purse and then it comes on like magic! But o, my gosh, those Blackberries, etc. really intrigue me…I want one! No, it’s not the technology holding me back in this case…I’m too cheap to take that leap!