Educational Technology

September 19, 2011

The myth of the ‘digital born’

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:40 am

by Arthur Goldstuck,Gadget

How is it possible that the typical child is so much more adept at using gadgets than the typical adult? How did we come to stereotype the neighbour’s 12-year-old son as the expert who will sort out our computers, cellphones and TV programming? And why are teachers terrified of exposing their ignorance to their hyper-connected students? The answer, we are told, is that this generation of children came into the world already adept at using technology. They were “digital born” or “digital natives”. The rest of us are “digital immigrants”, who have had to learn the art, science and reality of gadgets through blood, sweat and embarrassment. It only takes a few moments of vigorous application of common sense to lay waste to this myth. A child is born today in much the same manner as a hundred years ago, before the concept of consumer technology had been imagined. Some may be surrounded, at birth, by machines that go ‘Ping’, but the sound of electronics does not imbue a comfort with electronics.

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