Archive for January, 2009

Chants from a Digital Native

Today Gardner tweeted an article by Christopher Scanlon, “The Natives Aren’t Quite So Restless”. Normally I avoid articles touting to understand what exactly a digital native is and what any of it means. But since it came with the Gardo© nod of approval I read through it. Right off the bat I will say it was one of the best articles I have read about Digital Natives.

The ending paragraph puts it succinctly:

If we are to equip students to navigate a digital world, education ought to be based on assessing students’ individual strengths and weaknesses rather than making glib generalisations that mistake using Facebook for technological savvy.

Thank you! This may seem obvious, but the way Scanlon goes through his argument is one of the best I’ve seen. While generalizations can be helpful in broad conversations it does not belong in higher education where generalizations paint with a broad brush over everything, obscuring important detail.

I probably know more people that have the characteristics of a “digital native” that by definition fall into the “digital immigrant” territory, than supposed “digital natives” that represent digital natives. The reason I even fall into the category of digital native now comes from knowing those digital immigrants who have showed me the way. Yeah I was good at the lower-level digital stuff beforehand, most people are, digital natives aren’t special in that. Scanlon points out that we mistake my generations use of Facebook and constant connection to the web as digital literacy and creating processing and thinking. So lets look beyond broad generalizations that work on the surface and start digging deeper for what is really going on. Its not as simple as native and immigrant, it never has been one or the other throughout the history of man, so why would the digital world be any different?

Begin Again

I’m sure thousands of blog posts about the Inauguration will be going up soon and are being published as I type. They will be posts brimming with joy no doubt, as they should be. Comments on Obama’s inspiring speech and inspiring it was.

But don’t forget that the hard work begins now. Our new President cannot do this alone and I urge us to take advantage of the sense of unity and love that overwhelms us all now. I challenge us all to think and speak out loud what we will do to make this nation and our world a better place. Not just fleeting ideas on how we have to do something about global warming or about world poverty, but concrete actions you will personally take. It doesn’t have to be anything large, but the small little things put together with others makes a difference.

So in the coming days I will put up what my plans are at the advent of this new administration. We all have different interests and passions, let others know it and tell them what you are doing and how they can help. Lets keep each other accountable about this and put aside fear about offending people when we call them out. Please call me out if I forget to blog  about my plan of action.

Lets make all those times we said, “Yes We Can” mean something!

The First

Happy New Year everyone! Here is the first post of 2009 on the first day of 2009.

Last years resolution to blog daily failed spectacularly around February I believe, but I got a lot out of it for the time I did. It pushed me to be creative and put those half-finished thoughts out there, make a mess.

I have more to say, but right now I am battling a cold that won’t let me go.  So there are resolutions to come and more thoughts that have been in pieces in my brain that I hope to get out there.

For now I am drinking my tea and watching old home videos. It is a good life.


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