To what extent do you identify yourself with the “digital immigrant”generation?

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In the last 10 years my ability to use digital technologies has grown from barely being able to turn a computer on,to feeling confident enough to run classes in Photoshop and everything in between.  I just can’t seem to get enough of the stuff and arvidly seek to find ways to organise the plethora of media I create or come across.  I love the immedicay of being able to find information on anything with the click of a mouse,and the ability to learn whatever you want to l

On my last practicum I took a class of Year 11 ICT students through a step by step process of creating an advertisement.  A third of the class were bored while they waited for others to catch up,and another third needed lots of one on one help.  The next lesson I tried a different approach,I told students they could create their advertisement in any programme they wanted so long as it meet specified criteria around content and size. This worked a lot better,the more technically able students were self-directed and created much more sophisticated work leaving me with more time to assist those not so at ease with the process.

In my opinion a lack of professional development offered by the Ministry of Education,has only served to widen the gap between the digital native and the digital immigrant.  I was surprised to see such a wide range of mixed abilities of teachers on my recent practicum, from teachers who could comfortably use a design programme like Auto Cad to teachers who weren’t quite sure how to copy and paste.  I had thought the ICT department would also be providing PD for teachers on a regular basis, they had trialed it for a while but it was in there own time and it didn’t really take off.

Like many other ‘digital immigrants’,my first impressions of virtual gaming was somewhat negative but that was largely born from ignorance. Once I sat down with my son whilst he played the game I realised he was employing a lot of strategies,even covering elements of the curriculum like the five key competencies.  I have since become interested in how gaming could play a part in our education and came across this interesting article in the Telegraph.   Who ever would have thought you would see this in a newspaper headline “Violent video games ‘could help save lives’” click on the link to see the full article.

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