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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Repost from the AECT BlogTrack - Do Digital Natives Exist?

The second entry from May and the fifth in this series.

Okay, forget about the actual title used - generation Z, neomillennials, digital natives, the net generation, whatever - do they exist? By this question I am wondering if there is anything fundamentally different about children today that can’t be explained by simple generational issues (i.e. students in my generation were different than students in my parents generation). I know that some have gone as far as arguing that students today are wire differently than you and I.

This is a topic that I have given a lot of thought to - recent thought as I have only finished Marc Prensky’s new book Don’t Bother Me Mom–I’m Learning! It is also a topic that I have written a fair amount about on my other virtual schooling blog (see Students These Days and Schooling Not Matching Our Students for two of the more recent entries).

And I’m not the only one - there are lots of other people talking about this issue. Below are two that are really worth the read/view, as they are quite something.

The reason I spend so much time on this issue is that if students are actually different, wired in a unique way compared to you and I, virtual schooling could offer a unique way to address the individual learning needs of these students in how we design and delivery virtual school opportunities. However, if thes students are simply different from you and I only because they belong to a different generation, then how we design and delivery virtual schooling must change dramatically from the previous view.

This entry did generate some trackbacks from the original post:

Rick West » Blog Archive » Digital Natives: Response to Michael

[…] Michael brings up a question I have thought about a lot recently, mainly whether Marc Prensky’s belief is true that children today are actually wired radically differently in their heads from previous generations. Michael wonders whether this may not be just the common difference in generations, or whether it is something more. […]

Virtual Schooling » Blog Archive » Research on Digital Natives

[…] Virtual Schooling This blog is part of the AECT BlogTrack on “Emerging Trends in the Research on Online Learning Environments.” This particular blog focus is upon online learning in the K-12 environment, specifically virtual schooling. […]

Virtual Schooling » Blog Archive » What Are Virtual Schools Doing For Digital Natives?

[…] In any regard, this particular news item got me thinking back to previous posts that I have made on the topic of digital natives (see Do Digital Natives Exist? and Research on Digital Natives). In this news item, which actually describes a series of entries from a class blog for a public journalism class, he makes the statement: “how important it is that the new academics leverage new communication technologies to meet and challenge students in their new natural habitat: the online world.” [...]

So, what do you think?

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