October 09, 2012

Digital Natives?

The term "digital natives" has been coined to characterize a generation of people born and raised during the blossom of a technological age.  Often, I've heard teachers give students this credit when a child is able to expertly navigate a digital device just minutes after it came out of the box.   But is this characterization really accurate?  A study done by a group of Boston Researchers challenges the question in this article.

The take away from the observations made by these researchers is this:  Children are naturally inquisitive.  They love interacting with technology and love discovering the nuances of the devices by themselves.   However, the role of the teacher is not by any means diminished. The natural curiosity of the students can (must) be augmented by the teacher's guidance so that the experience can be as rich as possible.  Another take-away:  It doesn't matter what technology you are using.  You could be using laptops, interactive whiteboards, cell phones.  If students have access to it, can get their hands on it, and can explore it for themselves, their learning experience will become richer.

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