#edcmooc Web Wise Woman

I  finally got rid of the label : “Digital Immigrant” and very pleased with it! 🙂 I can call myself a digital wise now, or how about a WWW? A Web Wise Woman! Finally I am freed of this  in my eyes rather humiliating positon  I was put in even since Marc Prensky wrote his  “Digital Natives , Digital Immigrants“in 2001. Essence of this article is that, depending on when you were born you are either capable of handling modern technology and use it in everyday life or you are struggling with it forever, afflicted with a “immigrant’s accent”and leaving ‘muddy footprints’ all over the place. Worse, I was one of those “…Digital Immigrant instructors, who speak an outdated language (that of the pre-digital age) and are struggling to teach a population that speaks an entirely new language”. (p.2)

This article, cited thousand of times and also part of literature in the Mooc haunted me for years. I found myself on the edge of a huge gap dividing me, born in 1959 from the digital natives     ( the really cool ones in my opnion) born after 1980. Never ever would I be able to cross this gap and thus staying a digital misfit for the rest of my live.

BUT…thanks to a particpant of the Mooc from Richmond, Virginia I can label myself now as the already mentioned WWW. The funny thing is, it’s because of the same Marc Prensky: he must have sensed that he had to make up for my misery because he wrote kind of an “update”on his natives and immigrants callled  “From Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom”.

This time he introduces the “Homo sapiens digital” and age is not a crucial factor anymore. He even states that many digital immigrants exhibit digital wisdom. The digital human        “.. .accepts digital enhancement as an integral fact of human existence, and he or she is digitally wise, both in the considered way he or she accesses the power of digital enhancements to complement innate abilities and in the way in which he or she uses enhancements to facilitate wiser decision making”. 

And as an educator ( and parent of a 10-year old) I now have the opportunity to proof my digital wisdom by “.. letting students learn by using new technologies, putting themselves (= the educators )in the role of guides, context providers, and quality controllers, and parents by recognizing the extent to which the future will be mediated by technology and encouraging their children to use digital technology wisely”.

Prensky concludes with: “It is through the interaction of the human mind and digital technology that the digitally wise person is coming to be. I believe it is time for the emerging digitally wise among us, youth and adults alike, to embrace digital enhancement and to encourage others to do so. With our eyes wide open to enhancement’s potential harm as well as its benefits, let us bring our colleagues, students, teachers, parents,and peers to the digital wisdom of the twenty-first century”. 

I could not have said it any better. 😉

 webwise Me looking very “websmart”by attending a meeting by Skype and presenting my view on the future of education by means of Knovio 


Over ilonkahebels

I teach communication skills and journalism at a University of applied sciences in the northern part of The Netherlands. I am doing research in the field of collaborative learning in web-based environments and am interested in technology in education; how can we apply it trying to enhance learning? This is part of my Master study Educational Theory I hope to finish by fall 2013.
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2 reacties op #edcmooc Web Wise Woman

  1. jkknox zegt:

    Hi Ilonka,

    I’m liking ‘Web Wise Woman’! Also, thanks for posting Prensky’s follow up work on ‘Digital Wisdom’. As I perhaps should have mentioned in the Google Hangout yesterday, this work is perhaps indicative of the need to continue to theorise about our relationships with technology, rather than reify concepts without considering their validity carefully. Although I’m not entirely convinced by Prensky’s update, is does seem to be less grounded in broad categorisations. It’s not just teachers that are devalued in the immigrants metaphor, but students as well. This very MOOC seems to be demonstrative of the rich diversity of students, and it may be limiting to reply on absolute categorisations that position particular groups as having inherent skills.

    In reading how you were ‘haunted’ by the immigrant metaphor, it struck me how powerful particular concepts can be, how in seeming to ‘make sense’ they can construct quite restrictive framings of the world through which our subsequent educational experiences can be tainted. Web Wise Woman seems like a more positive way to go!


    • ilonkahebels zegt:

      Thank you very much for your comments. I am pleased to hear you saw the Prensky update about “digital wisdom”. For some reason this paper gets much less attention then the former one wich I regret. This well know paper on the natives and immigrants divides people based on age, the latter one recognizes much more that we are all in this together and should act accordingly. A thought which appeals to me so much more. Of course you are right that one should not let one self be restricted by some conceptual framings . I could also argue that Prensky’s paper was very useful because of that for it encouraged me to prove him wrong by putting me in the “immigrant-box” and work even harder to become the WWW I consider myself to be now.:-)

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