The Digital Native: A Profitable Myth

This article was basically saying that everything Prensky states in Digital Natives/Digital Immigrants isn’t based on any data that would actually measure what Prensky was stating. Jathan Sadowski  states that the whole claim was made so that parents or anyone for that matter would be inclined to purchase the necessary equipment to get current with the Natives.  So we would be able to relate with them and adapt ask Prensky stated in his article. 

Sadowski states that Prensky fails to prove what he is claiming is true.  Statements about technological aptitude overshadow the actual differences in ow and how well people use the digital technologies.  When the data and research is evaluated the great divide between the native and immigrant is a puff of smoke as Sadowki mildly put it.  One that obcures the actual differences that other factors(like social economic status, gender, education, and technological immersion) play a role in digital proficiency.  Another example that points to Sadowki’s theory was in an academic article that did research and they found that the commonly made claims are largely under researched or just plain wrong when compared to the data.

So before you go out and pay for consultants to get you hip to the digital native language, you probably want to research for yourself.  Or just get some free info online if you are struggling with all the new technology.


“Digital Natives/ Digital Immigrants”

When I read this article I realized that I was a digital immigrant.  I also realized my children raging from ages one to nineteen were digital natives and I can see the difference.  I just didn’t know it was a name for it.

In this article the writer Marc Prensky was explaining that our children have changed radically.  Todays’ students k-college represent the 1st generations to grow up with this new technology.  So if you were not familiar with the terms like I let me give you Prensky’s definitions.  A digital immigrant is someone who started really using technology as an older teen and just for research and such or to send emails.  We use the phone to make calls.  Digital natives are the ones that have been using all kinds of technology since they could walk and pretty much mastered and use this technology as a way of communication.  Different kinds of experiences lead to different brain structures.  Which means a different way of thinking for this generation.

Prensky states the biggest problem that we are having in our educational system is that we have digital immigrant educators trying to teach digital native students and they are not understanding each other languages.  Prensky believes we need to reconsider both or methods and content so we will be able to teach the natives.  In order to reach them educators need to learn to communicate in the language of the students.  They need to realized now there are two types of contents that they should use Legacy, which pertains to math, reading, writing, etc. The second content is Future, which pertains to software, hardware, robotics, etc.  One example he gave is making video games that teach material. It has been proven to be successful.

So if the digital immigrant want to reach there students they will have to change.  They will succeed in the long run.


All can be lost

In this article Nicholas Carr  has come to the conclusion that we are continually turning over all our work to automation and in doing so we are losing our ability to effectively do the work if and when the computer fails or malfunctions.  An example he used was with airline pilots totally relying on auto pilot.  Yes auto pilot has contributed to improvements in flight safety over the years and reduces pilot fatigue.  But the overall decline in plane crashes has produced a new type of accident.  Pilots have forgotten how to fly. He gave an few examples of this very thing happening. One was on February 12,2009 pilot was flying from New Jersey to Buffalo, New York it was an hour trip and pilots didn’t have much to do so after lift off the plane was put on auto pilot.  As they were ready to land the plane was losing lift and signaled it was ready to stall. The captain took over the controls. Yes he reacted quickly but did precisely the wrong thing. He jerked back on the yoke, lifting the plane’s nose and reducing its airspeed, instead of pushing the yoke forward and gaining velocity.  Rather than preventing the stall he caused the stall.  The plane sun out of control and plummeted .  All were killed.

Nimwegen , a psychologist in the Netherlands did research on software’s effects on the development of know-how. He came to the conclusion when we automate an activity we hamper our ability to translate information to knowledge.  I totally agree.  I work with computers processing loans.  The computer calculates the daily interest.  When our computers go down we have to do it. We have been given a formula calculate the interest but it seems when ever the computer goes down co workers have to try and find the sheets with the formula because they can’t seem to remember it.  Another example is when my husband and I are driving to Florida his hometown he has to use map quest.  This is a destination he has traveled before smart phones were invented. But when he follows map quest it seems to take a lot longer to get to our destination.

Carr states computers can weaken awareness and attentiveness.  Automation turns us from doers to observers.  I totally agree it makes us lazy in some ways.  We are expecting the computer to do all the work and we use our minds less.  Then when its time to step up and work due to computer failure we are no longer equipped because in actuality we haven’t been doing the work and in some cases have forgotten how to do the work.


Is unpluggling necessary

In this article Casey Cep was explaining how for the last 5 years a nonprofit organization called Reboot has been hosting National Day of Unplugging.  This takes place in on a Saturday in March at sundown and all day the following Sunday.  The goal is to help people take a break from all their electronic devices that they use non stop daily.  They would use this time to reconnect with the real work family and friends around them and focus on things around them.  By no means am I against technology, I’m using it now to write this blog. Also whenever I’m traveling google maps on my iphone comes in handy.  But I think its a little much that people have to post when they wake up, go to the bathroom, and go to bed. 

Cep argues that when people take a break from technology, it just makes them more engrossed with technology then they were before.  Cep believes the motivation for the day of unplugging is based on contrary concerns efficiency and enlightenment.  She thinks the whole idea of unplugging is strange because they are unplugging just to pick it up again.

In my opinion we all need to unplug sometimes.  We tend to get so focused on what’s going on with entertainer’s lives and quick ways to lose weight or whats trending that we miss out on whats going on in our lives.  We miss the winning shot that our son scored at his basketball game to to answering an unimportant text.  We fail to notice that our daughter is depressed and not eating while we are at the dinner table because we are busy answering email.  More and more people are having fatal car crashes due to trying to text or take selfies while driving.  There is nothing wrong with unplugging for a day.  The emails or text messages will still be there the following day. Spend time with family and friends and enjoy your surroundings.





What is big data?  Its all the information we are generating with our interactions on the internet. But even with all the info on the internet it doesn’t help global health issues because the answers to the questions they need, are not on the internet. For an example, people being struck by a natural disaster, how many clinics have medicines, how many children got vaccinated last year, etc.They can’t meet the need if they don’t know what the need is.

To collect data in the past the center for disease control would send workers out to go door to door in countries like Indonesia to collect answers to questions like these.  This could take months even years.  Once the data was collected it had to be entered into computers to be analyzed.  This process could also take months to years and left room for great error.  Sometimes the data didn’t get entered at all due to lack of funds or just change of focus.  So in the past global health decisions have been based on little, late or no data at all.

In the late 90’s Joel Selanikio realized there was an easier and less expensive  way to get the answers to the questions they needed by having them use cloud.  It’s a device where you can share information with certain individuals on the internet. They could pull up the forms they needed fill them out and the data would be readily available to be analyzed.

So my question is if we now have access to the health problems affecting these third world countries, why are children still dying from diseases that vaccines can cure? What’s the purpose for collecting this data if we aren’t going to use it to help all the people who need help?