Much has changed since Hewlett Packard introduced the first personal computers in the 1970s. In April 2002, the billionth PC was shipped. However, the 2 billion mark was reached in 2007, meaning that while it took about 30 years to see the first billionth PC, the second billion was sold during a mere 5-year span.
This year alone, sales are estimated at around 200 million, and increasing by the second. All our students today can probably be considered as digital natives, a term suggested by Mark Prensky in his article 'Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants' in 2001, to refer to people born into the digital world of such devices as computers, mobile phones, video games, and digital cameras, the kind of people who would refer to a wrist watch as an obsolete uni-functional gadget, preferring a mobile phone, for example, which functions as a phone, watch, music player, calculator, etc, the kind of people who spend as much time talking to their friends face-to-face as interactively (chat lines, SMS, social networks...), the kind of people likely to have spent more time on video consoles than on books, the kind of people who are used to receiving information at high speeds.
While the kind of student changes, the question going around the world in the past few years has been: Has education kept pace with the learners? Are teachers using obsolete methods which bore their students rather than encourage their curiosity? Are they speaking the same language?
What kind of teacher are you? What kind of learner are you?
Watch this wonderful Prezi presentation, open your mind, and ask yourself: Am I a digital native or am I a digital immigrant? Can a digitial immigrant teach a digital native successfully without acquiring new skills?
If you're unfamiliar with Prezi, it's a more dynamic presentation tool than say, PowerPoint. You choose what to see. On its right, you'll see the magnifying tool. If it isn't there, just hover your mouse over the right edge. The tool allows you to zoom in and out of the presentation. Click on the PLAY icon to start the presentation (it may take a short while to load). Hover your mouse on MORE (bottom right) to see the option of watching it full screen.
In this Prezi (titled Web 2.0 in the classroom by Ryan McCallum), if you zoom out, you'll see that Ryan has structured his presentation into different sections: Wiki, Blogs, Forums, etc. You can also drag the screen around if there is more information beyond your view space. If you then want to watch the presentation on Blogs, click on it, and Prezi will zoom in.
As usual, your comments would be most appreciated.