Are you what is known as a digital native or immigrant?
I’m a digital native, but only by a few years. Ever since my parents got a PC when I was in primary school I was hooked and rapidly became the head of household in terms of computer literacy, largely through trial and error (and a few viruses/reformats). It took my parents a decade or so to become comfortable with the technology and their emails are gradually becoming less stilted/formal. For me it was just fun. In early high school all my friends went home and got on MSN and would often chat until dinner. My students in Korea are thoroughly native, they spend most of their free time on smart phones and the strongest part of their English vocabulary is often technology related. Between my PC and Galaxy note I’m online 24/7 these days and even track my exercise/work progress with an app. Living overseas has probably led me into using technology even more heavily in order to keep in touch with my friends and interests.
As a teacher, how might you deal with the variety of attitudes and experiences of technology in your classroom?
I would always try to bring my passion for technology to the classroom. I’d relate it to what students like to use. Their chat programs or games. I’d make it fun by talking about common chat slang, creating memes/captions and have students produce material related to their online interests. I basically would try to invest them in the classroom by connecting it with their digital lives outside it. The main problem I anticipate would be gamers who spend too much time online. They come to class tired and disinterested. Engaging these students would be a priority.
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 1. On the Horizon, 9(1), 1 – 6. doi: 10.1108/10748120110424816