Thursday, January 17, 2008

Its all about makin' stuff and movin' it

I swear, I am a digital native. Honest..would I lie? None of my friends text each other. It appears that only single people text each other. Young single people under the age of 30. Depressing, since it is pretty cool. What it seems the digital native likes is the ability to make stuff (content) and move it from where they are to their fellow tribesman, or tribeswoman as the case may be (share it with an audience). This is important. Communicating with the tribe has always been important.

Dave Sands, a principal, father, and digital native remarked that his daughter in high school will talk with her friends at a coffee shop, but then go home and message these same friends on an instant messaging program (take your pick). When asked why they would message each other when she just spent an hour at a coffee shop visting with them, she explains that that is only talking with one person at a time. Here she can talk to all ten at one time, and have many conversations going at once. This is where our students are, unless they are too young. In which case, this is where they are going. This is what is different between the digital natives, and the digital immigrants. At this same conference where Dave Sands was discussing the Internet and today's student, he asked a high school student who was helping to hand out papers if he messages his friends using his cell phones. This student replied that he gets dozens upon dozens of messages a day. He texts more than he calls.

I just re-signed with my cell phone provider. My motivation was to get a better cell phone which I did. It has a camera, and can do pics and video. It has 1 Gb of memory on a memory card. And, I just discovered that I have 3 months of unlimited text, picture, and video messaging. Thank you Telus! What I would like is some comments from you guys about how I could apply text, picture, and video messaging to education. Here we have students who are more than adept at messaging; it's an unconscious skill. How can I tap into that for educational purposes? I await your suggestions. Here is the question I posed to YouTube viewers:

PS. I know some of you out there are going to say that students with cell phones is the root of all evil in schools. I would argue that the cell phone is a tool. Perhaps it is up to us to teach them to use this tool for good.

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