Friday, March 13, 2009

Skepticism from Down Under

Christopher Scanlon writes in The Australian:

"The question is, why is there such a divergence between claims about digital natives and the realities of the classroom?"

His answer echoes many of the concerns we have about this issue. He identifies class, commercial interest and confusion as contributing to the divergence:

"It's partly a matter of class because there are some students who perfectly fit the mould of digital natives. For example, it's not surprising that two Harvard law professors were among the first to write about such students...The digital natives theory is also partly driven by commercial interest. It's worth noting that Prensky, who was one of the first to popularise the idea of the digital native, is also the chief executive and founder of Games2Train, a company that specialises in creating computer learning games...Confusion also plays a part. It's telling that most of the accounts of digital natives come not from natives themselves but from middle-aged people observing young adults using computers. Those writing about digital natives confuse the ability to navigate around ready-made online environments or download content from the net for a general ease with technology."

Read the full article.