Monday, June 30, 2014

Digital Native-- Boyd, Prensky, Wesch

     Dana Boyd points out very interesting ideas about technology and our youth: just because our students are born in a digital world where they're digital natives, it doesn't mean that they know how to critically examine it. It's not even about our youth not knowing how to use the technology. Because of their curiosity, they would be able to figure it out by trial and error. The fact that our students aren't able to evaluate the information they receive individually is the bigger problem. She explains how teachers tend to de-value Wikipedia as an unreliable source of information and Google as a good source of information but we never teach our students to question both sources of information and why one is considered a good one or a bad one.  Teachers should be teaching our students to question both website's source of accuracy and credibility. She mentioned how we, as teachers, can take a website like Wikipedia and teach our "youth to interrogate sources of information and understand how information is produced".
     I never thought of it that way. I'm one of those teachers who tells her students to not use Wikipedia because anyone can edit the website and we aren't sure if those sources are credible. I agree with Boyd. I can see how important it is to teach our students, the "digital natives", to question the information they receive in the digital world. Critical thinking should be a taught skill in any classes and in everyday life, not just when students interact with digital- and non digital- information.
     Thinking about Mark Prensky, he raises such an important point. Kids are so involved with technology and if we are not teaching them in a unconventional way, we are not engaging them. It's important that we facilitate the use of technology in our classrooms if we want to engage our students.
     In addition, I  agree with Michael Wesch's message. The digital world has changed and we cannot ignore it. In addition to linking information, the web also links people. As we step into the digital world, we need to rethink about ourselves and how we define our ideas about certain things. One that got my attention was he stated we needed to rethink our idea of friends. I keep thinking about our social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Personally, I never thought I would still be connected with my friends from Sao Miguel. As a dancer, I have expanded my network of other dancers and get to know them in both the virtual and in the real world. I know of what my friends are doing and I know of what events are happening around the area and in the community. This is a fascinating shift.
   Digital natives still have a lot to learn about how to use technology and how to critically examine the information we encounter in the digital world. I am a digital immigrant, I know. Sometimes I feel that I'm not and that I know more about technology and how to examine its sources than my students, the digital natives.

Digital Native or Digital Immigrant- #2

I would like to think that I'm a digital native but I'm a digital immigrant. I grew up with very limited technology and since I moved to the US and technology became such an integral part of society, I've been drawn to technology. Whenever there's an opportunity to learn about new ways to use and explore technology, I'm in. Whenever there's a chance to integrate technology in the classroom, I'm willing to try it. Because students spend a good chunk of their lives at school, I feel that technology should be taught in our schools. It should be integrated in math, science, english, social studies, music, and art classes. I feel we are doing a dis-service to our students when we do not give the opportunity to learn technology in the classrooms.
This link gives us some ideas on how to make technology part of our classrooms.
This article teaches us how to engage students with iPods. So many of my students have iPods or iPads.
This is an interesting article that explains how blogger and blogging has been integrated in the curriculum and how 5th graders use it in their classrooms.
Lastly, this article describes the benefits of technology in the classroom. They call it "blended learning".

If videos are the way to go with you, here's a video that explains how to integrate technology in the classroom.

Introduction- #1


I'm Cristina (with no "h") and I live in Providence. I've lived in Rhode Island for 14 years now. Before that, I lived -and was born-  in Sao Miguel, Azores.  I have a love- hate relationship with Rhode Island. I love the summers and falls, but the winters in New England are quite dreadful. Cold and snowy weather isn't for me.
So far, this summer has been great! I have been working on my graduate courses and I've had time to relax at home and at the beach. I've been catching up on TV shows. My favorite one right now is Orange is the New Black.
When I'm not teaching ESL in West Warwick or taking classes at RIC, I'm outside running or I'm at the gym. In addition to that , I take belly dance classes during the week.  I also perform solo or with a belly dance troupe I'm part of. Dancing is an important part of my life.