Tag Archives: Digital Immigrant


Reflection on the ‘eLearning and Digital Cultures’ MOOC, Wk.2 #edcmooc

EDCMOOCOn to the second of the five weeks Coursera / University of Edinburgh MOOC: ‘eLearning and Digital Cultures’. This week is centred around looking to the future, the “future-focused visions of technology and education” whilst building on the previous utopian/dystopian ‘discourse’.

Having to watch, and comment/analyse, films introduced as “evocative and sometimes disturbing visions of what the future of information technology might hold” is always going to get your attention.

“Who is set to benefit from the personal, constant attentions of information technology, and who might lose out?”

Isn’t this the question we ask, in one form or another, each time Apple releases a new device? Isn’t this what causes the backlash each and every time Facebook changes it’s privacy policy? Isn’t this the current question educators around the world are asking since to the rise of the MOOC and it’s much lauded ‘saviour’ of Universities?

  • How is education being visualised in “A Day Made of Glass”? You could argue that most of these ‘tools’ are already available in one form or another in society and that schools already do most of what is shown here – maybe not exactly as shown, but some of it: smart boards, NearPod App (teacher presents to student device), tablets, etc. What is shown isn’t as far fetched as you may think, it’s just the way in which it is presented rather than what is presented that is different. How the technology is used outside of the classroom is more ‘futuristic’ and is where you could argue its worth – should children be given space (in or outside) that is free from technology, free for them to experience the world as it is and not through some sanitised technology that reveals the real world through a camera lens?
  • Continue reading

“Are we asking our students to collect dots or connect dots?” #edtech

In this TEDxYouth Talk, Seth Godin highlights eight things that will (need to) change in the Digital Age, including the nature of homework, memorising facts, and the end of compliance as an outcome.

YouTube: Stop Stealing Dreams / Seth Godin

The Voice of an Active Learner

“Do you recognise me? Very soon I will be your student, but I will not always sit in your classroom. I will not take out a pencil or open a textbook. You grew up with books, I read from a laptop, an iPad, a smart phone. I use a keyboard more than a pen. I’m a digital native, an “Active Learner” … why carry just a textbook when my iPad connects me to the world? I want to know things all the time, and right away!”

YouTube: The voice of an Active Learner

This is a good start to the video, but this next bit is what I liked the most:

“To learn, I look online because the classroom isn’t enough for me, not when I can see faces, hear voices, and chat with people on the other side of the world! My school has to keep up with me, not the other way round! I have more and more choices.”

If this is what students are saying (and most reports tend to point this way) then we, as educators or facilitators to education ought to respond to these students in their world(s) in order to make it relevant, engaging, stimulating, interesting, appropriate, and above all worthwhile?

The video closes with the same opening question, this time the answer is more about what students expect from us …

“Do you recognise me? Very soon I will be changing the world, but I need you. If you’re ready to help me I’ll find you, but it’s your challenge to keep up with me. I’m a digital native, an Active Learner. Listen to me, help me. Together we can create the future.”

Designs on eLearning #DEL12: Student Showcase -‘My Digital Life’


How brilliant that students have a voice at a conference, something I first encountered at FOTE last year and again at PELC earlier this year.

Alice Macchi:
Important issues to consider between the student / institution relationship and online students include aspects of communication as well as integration, engagement, and alienation due to distance. If institution want to invest in more online courses then these issues must be addressed before the students enrol/start and not once they are here.

Online communities are created with or without the institution but the institution should consider these communities and work to bring everyone together (student services or student union to have dedicated post to support this?). The student portal does not reflect or address this: should it or should this be dealt with elsewhere? These students use Ning and Wimba … all external tools to the institution website and/or systems – breaking relationship between students and the institution.

Artemis Evloginenou:
Coming from an engaged and encouraged environment at High School the experience at university is very different and daunting. Despite dedicated buildings designed for the students the spaces were actually more restrictive than not, all coming for the actual construction and structure – the student made this video to explain, artistically, the problems with barriers, blank walls, and barriers to the toilets! “This is an arts school

Shilpi Tomar:
“Creativity through mobile devices”: Mobile devices have brought new processes and procedures into our daily routine, and Shilpi talks about ‘iPhone Obsessed‘ book and how Dan has had to change his routine that he used to have for his DSLR work to now concentrate on the iPhone apps. Mobile devices enable instant results – take the photo or video, edit it in situ and upload it for wider consumption (and mixing / mash-up)?

Tatiana Alisova:
Experiences of ‘my digital life’: showing illustrations of work developed alone and through collaboration on iPhones and iPads. While some of this is obviously based around coursework there is clearly a passion that drove the students to experiment and continue outside of required work (excellent) – Owl and Pussycat interactive book (Aurasma?)

Artmenis showcased so many excellent pieces of artwork that by the time I got the camera readyshe’d skipped another few slides – I hope to find her work on post links here later


Jessica Barr:
Online studies while travelling through Cambodia! From teacher to student, from London to Cambodia. Remote access enabled unique cultural learning experience from both geographical and technological perspective with peers, from Asia to South America, gained close bonds and relationships long before actually meeting in person. Without mobile devices and (limited) available 3G or wifi hotspots this would not have been possible.

It’s not necessary to be in the classroom to study, but online and learning at a distance is not for everyone.

At no point has anyone talked about the VLE today, isn’t that strange!

There was such a maturity and confidence from these students that I can see why their proposals were chosen for the showcase, and the work they talked about should be seen as an inspiration to their peers and to the tutors – a whole-hearted ‘well done’, and the best applause was definitely saved just for them!

David Hopkins, Learning Technologist

Digital story of the Nativity

Yes I know it’s June, but this is still a good video: how social media, web and mobile would’ve impacted the Nativity story – as told through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Wikipedia, Google Maps, GMail, Foursquare, Amazon, etc:

YouTube: The Digital story of the Nativity

I originally used this as part of my presentation to the BU Careers Forum – Presentation: Social Media, where myself and Debbie Sadd were asked to follow-up our work on students and student digital footprints and “inform students on the benefits and disadvantages on social media [like] how students should monitor Facebook with potential employers, using Linked In, Twitter, etc, and how to use these to create an advantage rather than disadvantaging their appearance.” The video formed an introduction to social media and how it has become, for some, integral to every-day actions and situations (Facebook updates, tweets, etc).

The New Digital Divide #edtech #eLearning

I saw this earlier, the new Google Search Education, posted on the The Next Web website, and is flagged as a “new search education tool aimed at helping teachers pass on the necessary skills to young learners researching online”:

This passage resonated with me, in the video from time-stamp 2:06;

“The new digital divide is that those who are able to search, and those that aren’t able to search. It’s about critical thinking skills, it’s about being independent learners, and we need to make sure we cultivate these skills within our students so that when they go out into the world … they will know how to search and be able to be critical thinkers.”

Is this another side to the digital native/immigrant or digital resident/visitor discussion (argument)? Is it about the ability to find appropriate resources or not, rather than the technical nature of the individual’s background? What do you think?

More “Digital Immigrant vs Digital Native” Posts

So, the age old discussion (argument?) about the differences between Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives has come up again. I’ve already written a little about it, albeit a year ago in the posts “Digital Native/Immigrant … or Resident/Visitor?” and “Digital Native vs Digital Immigrant” there seems to be fresh discussions on the definition and importance of each.

So, here are a few choice passages and links for you;

Digital Fingerprint: Digital Immigrant vs Digital Native

“Digital Immigrant looks for phone number in a directory, Digital Native looks for a phone number on the web.”

TALL blogNot ‘Natives’ & ‘Immigrants’ but ‘Visitors’ & ‘Residents’

“The Resident is an individual who lives a percentage of their life online. The Visitor is an individual who uses the web as a tool in an organised manner whenever the need arises.”

YouTube: Digital Natives

EdTechDev: The Digital Natives / Digital Immigrants Distinction Is Dead, Or At Least Dying

“At the very least, the distinction is quickly growing irrelevant.  Unfortunately, the idea is still uncritically accepted even in some journal articles, and perhaps used as an excuse or crutch too often for poor or ineffective teaching practices.  The result may be a self-fulfilling prophecy, but for teachers, not students.”

The Technology Source Archives: Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants: Some Thoughts from the Generation Gap

“The rapid pace of change is undeniable, and it is likely that generations growing up amidst such change will be amazingly adaptable. Thus, there is no reason to think that they cannot adapt to an immigrant’s way of teaching, as long as it is good teaching. Good teaching engages learners’ interests.”

Net Gen Skeptic: The Digital Literacy of “Digital Natives”

“When asked how they decide to visit a Web site, the most important factor mentioned by the students was “being able to identify easily the sources of information on the site”. However,  “knowing who owns the Web site” and “knowing what business and organizations financially support the site” were less important to students. When asked how they determine the credibility of the information, the least common actions were “checking if contact information is provided on the Web site” and “checking the qualifications or credentials of the author.” Checking the “about us” section the Web site was also something that students did either rarely or on average.”

Spiegel Online International: The Internet Generation Prefers the Real World

“They may have been dubbed the “Internet generation,” but young people are more interested in their real-world friends than Facebook. New research shows that the majority of children and teenagers are not the Web-savvy digital natives of legend. In fact, many of them don’t even know how to google properly.”

Digital Native/Immigrant … or Resident/Visitor?

I’ve written in the past about Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants, and I like the concept. But something wasn’t right, I wasn’t happy with the concept, but didn’t know what it was.

Now I think I’ve found it … and it’s called Not ‘Natives’ & ‘Immigrants’ but ‘Visitors’ & ‘Residents’, posted to Twitter by Julia Ault (@juliadesigns).

In it the post, and JISC paper, outlines that:

“… students could not be usefully categorised as Digital Natives or Digital Immigrants. I.e. This distinction does not help guide the implementation of technologies it simply provides the excuse that “some people ‘just don’t get it’ …”

The terminology of Native vs Immigrant implies a certain skill level based on either generation or familiarisation with technology, but this does not cover all the options. The “students appropriation of online services did not seem to follow a simple pattern based on skill level. It seemed to depend on if they saw the web as a ‘place to live’ or as a collection of useful tools.”

This is the nub of the subject. Do the students embrace the world online?

Here is a breakdown on the two classes;

  • Digital Resident – “… an individual who lives a percentage of their life online. The web supports the projection of their identity and facilitates relationships.” These people want to, and do, do a vast majority of socialising and ‘living’ through their professional and social network online.
  • Digital Visitor – “an individual who uses the web as a tool in an organised manner whenever the need arises.” These individuals use the Internet for a goal, but do not need to, or have to, reply on it.

So, what does it mean to us as facilitators? It means we need to understand the distinction between them, this is “useful when considering which technologies to provide for online learners”.

  • Visitors – unlikely to use RSS feeds
  • Residents – expect to interact on website, leave comments, subscribe, etc.

How do you spot which is which … when “offered membership of a facebook group … (the) majority signed-up without question as they wanted to stay in touch with fellow students and continue discussions. The remainder saw the group as pointless and a possible invasion of privacy.”