|By FASTILY (CC-BY-SA-3.0)|
via Wikimedia Commons
It got me thinking (again) about the technological realities currently present in schools.
I'm busy supervising many student teachers this semester, which I love. It's great to observe their growth and development as faithful, dedicated professionals. For the most part they are doing really, really good work.
What I find interesting is that several of them are teaching in 1:1 schools. (Check the lexicon above...) This has some pretty profound influence on the way they are teaching--and none of them are graduates of 1:1 programs themselves, which makes it all the more interesting for me to observe how the available technology affect their teaching. They are struggling with managing the realities of how all that technology in the classroom really does impact what is learned, and also how it is learned.
It makes me wonder again about "digital natives." These student teachers are clearly of the age that we expect them to be "native" users of technology--they can scarcely conceive of a world without cell phones in hand and ready access to broadband internet. Facebook has given way to Twitter, which is in turn giving way to Snapchat. It's a wired world, right? (And wireless at the same time...)
But as I reflect on how my student teachers are dealing with the technological realities in school, it seems like their struggles and successes regarding teaching with technology pretty nearly mirror my own. And as a 30-something, I'm definitely not a digital native. (Though I like to think of myself as a fluent immigrant.) My student teachers in 1:1 settings are feeling their way, just like I am. Just because my students are of the age supposed to be incredibly tech-savvy, they don't seem to be much more likely than I am to dive in head-first. And they don't seem to have some exceptional technological abilities because they are somehow "native." We're all digital citizens, and we're all trying to find the best way of using technology to enhance teaching and learning.
I'd love to hear from the under-30 crowd on this one...what do you think of this? Are we overselling the idea of "digital natives" being super-comfortable with teaching through technology? Or am I just missing it--maybe because I'm too much the immigrant?