Although technology is finally being integrated into education, its use for teaching and learning still remains a challenge. Despite the fact that many schools today are privileged to have ready access to technology, trained teachers, and a favourable policy environment, the use of technology in the classroom is still low. Some attribute low levels of technology use in education to the pedagogical believes of teachers.
Every teacher faces moments when it seems difficult (if not impossible) to engage students. This issue is crucial when we think about the importance of students becoming 21st-century explorers of knowledge.
In many classrooms, existing technologies are underused. But connected technology— the umbrella term for using computers, cell phones, and the Internet to extract or share knowledge—is essential for helping students connect with resources and expand their critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills.
Teachers who find technology to be somewhat of a foreign concept digital immigrants do not easily move through digital work environments or actively seek new tools and opportunities. Instead, they often translate digital work back into an “analog” format.
In contrast, digital natives-most students today have grown up surrounded by digital technology.
They have learned to adapt quickly to changing surroundings, and they feel comfortable in a digital space. They enjoy discovering new innovations that change the way that they live, work, and communicate.
One common analogy in comparing the two groups would be the way they edit papers.
A digital immigrant would print a digital document and mark it up with a pen, whereas a digital native would use online reviewing tools (like Track Changes) to make edits.
So how do these concepts relate to the classroom? Teachers who find themselves speaking a different technology language than their students need support to take advantage of the power that technology can have on students’ growth and success.
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