Digital Natives and Immigrants

In recent discussions of technology a controversial issue has been about digital natives (those who grew up with and around technology), and digital immigrants (those who have not grown up with technology). On one hand, people argue that the digital immigrants should start teaching with the new styles of digital natives. From this perspective, the digital natives are thinking differently and having many different interactions than those from the past, and the ways of schooling that have been tried and true aren’t as effective. On the other hand, some argue that digital natives don’t exist. According to this view, they say that even though students may know how to use technology, they don’t know how to use it effectively to to its full potential.

In sum then, the issue is whether teachers should learn the “new way”, or students and teachers learn how to use technology effectively.


My own view is that I think both parties should learn how to use technology to its full potential. Though I concede that this would be easier said than done, I still maintain that it’s the right thing to do. This issue is important because times are changing, and schools need to change with them.


An Introduction to The Controversy of Technology in Education


In recent discussions of education, a controversial issue has been whether classrooms should begin using more advanced technology or not. On the one hand, some argue that it should. From this perspective, students use technology every day at home and away from school, and as soon as they begin their school day they put everything away and can become bored. If students have immense knowledge at their fingertips, shouldn’t they learn how to use it effectively? On the other hand, however, others argue that technology should not be used in classrooms. According to this view, many technology resources that are used are just a digital version of a paper and pencil task. Students also can get distracted from the learning, and only focus on what they’re doing with the technology.
In sum then, the issue is whether schools should stay with the times technological wise or stay with the tried and true methods.

My own view is that technology should be integrated and used in education. Though I concede that many educational technology programs and resources are simply a “re-skin” of pencil and paper, I still maintain that it is very important. Part of the issue is educators having the lack of proper training to use the tools that are available to them. Although some might object that technology could be distracting to children, I would reply that we have to better integrate technology, and not just using it as a flashy exciting thing to use.

This issue is important because when technology evolves, so does the tools we can use to improve our society and people.