Sunday, July 24, 2005

Prensky Takes a Beating!

Tom Hoffman lashed out at Marc Prensky a few days ago, and I gotta say I share his sentiments. While I mostly find Marc's ideas of Digital Game Based Learning pretty good, his ideas of digital immigrants and natives just don't reflect my experiences either. Perhaps Mark's timeline is out of wack... he reckons anyone born before 1985 is an immigrant... But as Tom loudly proclaims:

I am thirty six, and I AM A DIGITAL NATIVE. I know you baby boomers have a hard time coping with this concept because it is a threat to your authority, and as a result you seem to be constantly reinventing the concept so that it can't be applied to any actual adults who can compete with you professionally, but I've had it, and I'm calling bullshit.

I know Marc's gotta make a living, and he has definately struck a chord with the over 50 teachers in Australia with his generationalist generalisations, but if people are gunna keep buying into it then we may as well take a look at the traits of other generations while we're at it, and I reckon Tom's on to it - the baby boomers are a frustrating problem.


roseg said...

Ha ha! Boomers a frustrating problem? Tch tch Leigh - you're such a GenXer.

Nah. Just kidding.

Personally, I too *try* to avoid buying into these sorts of sweeping, generalised (and mostly manufactured) demographics, especially since "tweens" were invented.

The more we get seduced into "I'm a Sagittarius" levels of science, the more we unwittingly legitimise the very things that stand in the way of genuine insight or discovery.

Generalisations can be useful, models are ways of representing things in ways that will assist apprehension and thinking in categories and clusters seems to be how our brains are built.

But none of these things will ever replace the "suck it and see" school of observation and if you look around it transpires that all of us contain multitudes and *none of us* can be defined in simple categories.

I should know. I was born in year of the smartypants.


Leigh Blackall said...

I like to think of myself as a generation "why" actually... I kinda came after the punk X/smarty pants factor.

Caitlyn O'toole said...

Hi Leigh,

I like what Marc has to say and I think the notion of digital natives - digital immigrants has some merit, but I think it has very little to do with age and more to do with attitude.

I'm 46 and very much a digital native and I know people in their 50's, 60's and 70's who are also digital natives. Then there are young people who could only be describe as immigrants.

Then there is another class of people altogether ignored by Marc, they are the digital conscripts, you'll find them in organisations big and small all over the