January 12, 2010 by readlisaread
I just feel the term “Digital native” is getting overused, that’s all. I am talking about kids born in the 1990’s. Teenagers. Young adults. The Surlys, as we have coined it at home.
Very frequently, I do get into arguments in the staff room about our learners, that they need more stimulation, not less, that they are DIFFERENT than kids we’ve taught in the past, that they need different schedules of sleep and work and play than we allow for, and that things like “respect” and “ethics” look different for them.
But I have to admit– sometimes talk is cheap, and I do get frustrated with some behaviours, and I tend to revert back to what I know.
The biggest thing is not “allowing” them to use digital information how they want– I’m all for them mashing up, memeing, tweeting, blogging, podding and vlogging. I’m all over that. But what I am finding more often– too often– is the willingness to sit passively in front of computer and allow it to entertain them. I want to see curiosity, a spark of “I wonder what would happen if…”.
I don’t think it’s the fault of too much electronics and too little book-readin’, I think it’s the fault of how we have sat them down in rows and made them memorize the multiplication tables, and only use the computer as a “treat” when the “real work” is done.
I’m a bit pissed off, because I really thought my style of “I’ll help you with the tools, you show me what you can do” was going to really engage them. Instead, they blow up aliens and laugh at pictures someone else posted of unfortunate-looking people shopping in WalMart.
This isn’t what I signed up for, and I’m a bit disappointed in these representatives of the Digital Generation. Maybe I’ll make them design the next lesson and I’ll do it while they stand at my shoulder….hmmmm….