Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Death of the Digital Native

I have been thinking a great deal about my recent experience at T+L in Seattle. In Particular I was stuck by a comment made by Tim Tyson: "Being a Digital Native does not equate to digital literacy." Within that same breath, I recall the forcaster, Paul Saffo, guiding a thought process that I don't think reached fruition. Mr. Saffo talked about how the industrial age gave way to the consumer age which gave way to the digital age and the birth of the digital native. And now the digital age is giving way to the "Media Age." All this in the span of one Century!

Let's put some of this in perspective, shall we? Can you believe that Myspace has only been in existance for five years? Has it really only been 5 years since the social revolution that is web 2.0 went supernova? Sure their has been ICQ, Instant Messanger and even online communities brought to you by Compuserve, you remember Compuserve don't you, but the explosion happened in 2003! Yes, 2003!

Don't believe how quickly things have changed? Watch this video on the birth of the internet:

And so, I am thinking, perhaps rambling as I gather my thoughts to come to some conclusion.

Today I listened to an early podcast from David Warlick. During a discussion with educators, David asked the question: "What will the classroom look like in the year 2015?" One response sent a "shudder up his spine" and chills up mine. The comment refered to a "media native." It made it clear to me that we are no longer dealing with students who know how to use technology, we are dealing with students who are creating the technology! The Digital Native is already dead, and like a phoenix from the ashes a "Media Native" has emerged. This is why it is vital to break the walls and empower studnts. They are the new creators and inventors. Our job as responsible adults should be to step back and facilitate the natural learning, collaboration and authentic assessment that is occuring before our eyes! Our responsibility is to teach responsibility. To teach students ethical habbits and critical analysis will give them the tools to change the world!

Embrace a Media Native today!

On a sidenote, I'd like to welcome you to a new project I am working on for leaders in education and technology. The project is called Digital Decompression! Every Friday evening, I will be hosting a Stickcam conference for all of us involved in educational technology to gather and discuss the weeks events using the new Beta technology available at Please, do stop by at approximately 9:00 P.M. CDT on 11/14/08 and introduce yourself at Look for the Debate Room under the Group Chat tab. Find the Digital Decompression room and come on in. You don't need an account to join the chat but will need to sign up for a free Stickam account if you would like to use your webcam or microphone. Hope to see you there!
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