Posts Tagged ‘E-learning’

Electronic Revolution……

Digital Natives vs Digital Immigrants

During our first tutorial we were introduced to some techno terms, digital natives and digital immigrants. The class was asked to discuss what these terms meant and how we see ourselves. We decided digital natives are children of today as they are ‘born’ knowing all about the digital world. This may be true as they grow, however they cannot be born knowing all about the cyber world as with anything we need to be taught and that is dependent on a number of factors such as our parents knowledge and education, our culture, our socio-economic environment and where we go to school and who with.

Children termed digital natives are given this name as the world they are born into is far more technological than the world I was first-born into. They are exposed to, and have access to a number of digital devices such as computers, video games (Playstation, XBox,  Nintendo, etc), i-phones, i-pads, etc. My granddaughter at the age of 7 was given her first mobile phone with internet access. She is now 11 years old and has the latest i-phone, therefore she would be considered a digital native as she has grown up with this technology.

The class found the term digital immigrants referred to those who hadn’t been exposed to digital devices and are now having to integrate technology into their lives either to survive socially, to keep up with their children or for employment. A digital immigrant is required to learn the technology, just as a person who decides to live in a new country has to adapt to the new culture in order to assimilate. Therefore, I would say a digital immigrant in the technology sense is like learning a new culture when living in a new country. Both are unfamiliar in the beginning.

After discussing the difference between the two some in the class decided they were a combination of both. I am not sure what I would consider myself. I have mentioned I am anti-techno in a technology world, which should put me in the digital immigrant category, however if a new device is ‘born’ and I learn to use it at the same time a digital native does, what category do I fall into?

I found a video that explains the concept in easy to understand terms. Please take the time to view it.   


So how will this affect my future teaching? It depends on where I will be teaching and the students themselves. Some children may have been exposed to a vast array of electronic devices, therefore making them more digital savvy than myself so maybe they could help with the teaching? A form of collaborative learning between students and teacher? To keep ahead of the children teachers will require constant training in this area as it is changing and evolving at a rapid rate.

When analysing it down to this degree it can be quite confusing????? Was less confusing before all this techno stuff came along!

Another VERY interesting video for pre-service teachers! It is scary!

Further information regarding a digital native and digital immigrant can be found by visiting pages by Marc Prensky, an internationally acclaimed thought leader, speaker, writer, consultant, and game designer in the critical areas of education and learning.


Yet another term we were introduced to in our first week of the unit. E-learning, what does that mean? Well without looking up the term I would define it as learning through electronic means. Breaking it down further it could mean the teaching and learning of Web technologies incorporating the use of a variety of web, mobile and personal computer-based tools.

Web 1.0 and Web 2.0

So many terms! I said technology is complicated and confusing!

Anyway we discussed the difference between these two. Basically Web 1.0 is the accessing of information. Similar to before the World Wide Web where we used books (you know those things with pages filled with print information) we now conduct our research through the World Wide Web using the internet, a worldwide connection of many thousands of computer networks. I guess the analogy of an internet using Web 1.0 is a library filled with books.

As the internet evolved Web 2.0 was developed, making the internet a more interactive space. This new innovation allows users to have interaction with others on-line through social networking such as Blogs, Wikis, YouTube, social software and sites such as Facebook , etc. Social networks are both a platform on which innovative technologies have been built and a place where users are treated like first class citizens.

Therefore, it could be said that Web 1.0 is for consumers of content and Web 2.0 is for participating with the content.

Some more videos I found to help you understand the difference between the two platforms.

How can we as teachers use E-learning/Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 in our classrooms?  Although I am an anti-technology person I feel these tools, if used responsibly can be of benefit to our students. Firstly, children need to become technology literate if they are to succeed in the developed world. E-learning classes need to be incorporated within the Curriculum  as a necessity and not an option. Children who do not have access to all the latest electronic tools at home will benefit from this innovative pedagogical approach.

Although Web 2.0 has evolved Web 1.0 is still relevant in the classroom as a means of accessing information not available through traditional resources. As technology has become more affordable children in educational environments that do not have large libraries, the use of  the internet will allow them access to information they may not have had otherwise. This would apply to children in remote areas where access to traditional methods of obtaining information may be limited.

Alternatively Web 2.0 in education is an excellent learning tool. Children are able to set up classroom blogs and websites. To ensure privacy these sites can be set to allow access only by their teacher, their peers and their parents. Web 2.0 can create a global environment where the children can communicate to other children all over the world.  Forums on the subjects they are studying can be set up in order to collaborate with children from other schools. Using Web 2.0 in this way is a form of social constructivism, as researched and documented by Lev Vygotsky.

I found an excellent peer-reviewed paper by Paul Anderson on the implication of these platforms on education. Please click here.