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 Worse, I was one of those “…Digital Immigrant instructors, who speak an outdated language (that of the pre-digital age) and are struggling to teach a population that speaks an entirely new language”.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. 😉