Saturday, October 23, 2010

Helping "Digital Immigrants"

    If we are to believe Marc Prensky, I am a Digital Immigrant. We got our 1st VHS VCR when I was 12 years old. There were no computers in my high school except in the Business Lab.  I had several programs on large floppy disks. 

     My first Windows operating system was 3.11. All of the folders were right there on the desktop. Opening File Manager was the way to access the software. There was no email or Internet connectivity in my home. Our printer had long rolls of connected paper...

 Windows 3.11
    Thus began my transition to the digital age. As computers became more sophisticated, we found more ways to use them to keep organized. When I saved a file, I had no idea where it would go!

    What a difference between then and now. There are phones that function almost identically as a computer. The World Wide Web keeps us moving and email, texts and chats keep us communicating.

    In my current position as Technology Teacher at my elementary school, it is my responsibility to assist teachers how to integrate technology into their instruction. Most embrace the opportunity, but a few refuse to get in the Digital boat!
So how can you convince ... I mean motivate someone how to take those 1st shaky steps into the world of technology? First of all, don't push. Some Digital Immigrants (DIs) are just getting used to checking their email regularly. To force too much technology at one time will frustrate the user. Here's what I suggest should be done...create a educational technology plan for that individual, complete with measurable goals and objectives. Once an objective is reached and a goal is met, it gets removed and a new one appears at the end.

    Sound silly? Not at all. Educational planning is the key to being prepared to deliver good instruction. It will map out the course and the user can take one step at a time, at their own pace. What is silly is expecting a teacher who has never been trained, to jump right in using a Smart Board in their instruction!  I'm going to create a sample plan and post it here next week.