Technology Native: Today’s Student

11 Jul

 The article entitled Through my Student’s Eyes, was written by Cheryl Oakes.  It can be found at: http://www.speedofcreativity.org/2009/07/10/through-my-students-eyes/

 This article is written from a student’s viewpoint chronicling his educational experience from kindergarten through the twelfth grade.  The student mainly focuses on school experiences that center around technology.  Beginning with the use of a flip video camera, progressing to VoiceThread, blogging, and then finally ending with the social networking phenomena of Facebook, it is evident that technology plays a tremendous role in education.  The student was called a “digital native” by his teachers which caused him question what that statement implied as well as what that made his teachers.  While at first the view on technology that the student takes is positive, toward the end of the article a desire is voiced to go back to kindergarten where more learning takes place and things are simpler. 

 The interesting concept that stood out to me in this article was the amount if technology that is available in today’s classroom.  I do not believe that every classroom in America is as tech-savvy as the classroom alluded to in this article.  I work with many teachers at my own school who do not even use the expensive Promethean Boards that have been provided in their classrooms.  It’s sad because technology advances just as our student’s developmental and cognitive ability does.  From kindergarten to twelfth grade there are various types of technology available for the enhancement of student learning when implemented properly.   The problem is that as teachers we work in a world where, while we are citizens in the field of education, we are immigrants to the field of technology.  Our students are the natives, and unless we embrace technology and use it for meaningful and engaging instruction, we will soon be obsolete. 

 My response is two-fold.  Part of me gets excited about all of the technology options that are available for classroom use.  My mind is boggled when I think of how students are able to connect with their peers in foreign countries.  I love that technology can do that.  I think it’s wonderful that we teachers can do more than just teach our students academics and life skills, but also digital citizenship and technology abilities that will assist them throughout this digital life.  However, the other part of me wonders if with all this emphasis on posting, blogging, and networking do we lose the quality of what we are communicating and learning?  Is too much value placed on the sharing and publishing rather than on the instructional time that goes into creating what is going online?  Is technology robbing our technology natives of the true learning experiences that we immigrants experienced “back in the days?”

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