Tuesday, September 09, 2008

digital immigrant.

ok ok, so my uni have been going on and on about teaching in the digital age for years now and i'm only JUST engaged. i guess i was skeptical about their approaches and actual depth of knowledge. i mean how many times can someone celebrate the fact that digital cameras were invented? or that you can create a blog? ...zzzz... oh! i'm sorry i must've nodded off there while the rest of my class learnt how to log onto the uni website. BORING! i've been listening to my lecturers and peers complain about how difficult and frustrating technology is to use. For the past 4 years they've been going on about really basic stuff. I mean yes it is fantastic that you can see the pictures right there on the camera and like magic they can be put onto the computer as well. pfft. And it's not like they were describing anything particularly ground breaking in terms of educational applications either. Sure kids can describe the visual elements used in a magazine/newspaper/website/game. They probably come to school like that and can do WAY more stuff than that in their sleep! They'd be about as bored as I have been I reckon.
i mean i understand that the education field is usually always a little behind the rest of the world cause that is just the way it all works: educators adapt to the demands of society etc etc. So realistically speaking I won't expect to see any great developments in technology education for quite some time. Nor will I have the opportunity or experience to explore this area to it's full capacity untill I am actually teaching. I will wait until that day and then find a gap in the system to exploit and possibly become a millionaire (hold your breathe).
So today I was finally given something to think about and engage with when we were shown this:

This stuff is kinda actually exciting. I mean it's obviously really it's just that it's been put into words/a presentation that I havent been exposed to before. Most of use technology every single day for a variety of means. In the past week I have:
- checked my email on 4 different accounts
- social networked on at least 2 different sites
- viewed clips on Youtube
- downloaded readings/resources for uni
- written assignments
- uploaded assignments
- engaged in forum discussions
- searched the internet for technical help with my lappy
- downloaded software/codecs (plus researched their use/effectiveness/cost/system requirements)
- shopped for furniture that I can't fit into my room
- used an online floor planner program to rearrange my room
- read 6 friend's websites/blogs
- kept up to date with comics/humour sites
- looked up directions on googlemaps
- looked up public transport time tables
- pirated and bought music online
- done my banking
- researched travelling overseas/jobs/currency/living expenses/flights/visas/teaching agencies
- practiced dance routines from clips found online
- applied for jobs (well this is in my yet to be fulfilled list - seems the dancing took longer than I thought)
- booked flights online
- viewed an online tutorial about slowing the tempo of songs
- synced my ipod to my calendar and address book.

Yes and that is just to name a few. There are very few days when I don't do at least one of these things. Not to blow my own trumpet* but I'm not exactly struggling to think of uses for the internet. I'm what those theorists call a 'digital immigrant' (I'm not sure how much this actually applies cause I feel like I've grown up with it but I'm technically too old) and those students that I'll soon be teaching are 'digital natives'. So it will my job to help students navigate, decipher, contribute, convey, determine and author a future internet. Web 3.0?**
It's daunting to imagine that all these day to day things that we do seem to be somehow contributing to a massive database of information. A machine. The whole is greater than the sum of it's parts. The ever evolving structure of our information will be the biggest change that is expected in the next 5 years.
Yes I know this might be old news to many of you but I thought I'd get my reflections down in print whilst the going is hot. Besides all I've got to compare myself with is the ignorance at uni and my sixty-something parents (whom I might point out are getting much better - googlemaps and tour de france website open whilst viewing the race to get maximum enjoyment out of it, I was so proud that night!)

*bwahaha I love saying that on a blog. Irony much?
** I DID start reading about it here but my 'digital attention span' didn't get that far.


The Frase said...


You're ENGAGED??!!


Corinne said...

it's just a fancy word for using my brain.
dont worry i'm not going to ruin anyone's life just yet.

dogpossum said...

Hey, I used Google maps in m classes today! We were doing indigenous media, looking at the warlpiri media collective, which is based in Yuendemu (I think that's how it's spelt). Someone said "where is that?" and I was all "I dunno" and then "Wait! Let's use this projector and internet connection!" and we got into google maps.
And then we talked about why Yuendumu isn't a blue city. And how that 'remoteness' might make local media production interesting/important/difficult.

God, and we didn't event get NEAR Google maps and dot paintings (where dot paintings are/were often visual representations of country from above).

Also, we looked up the warlpiri media collective online and talked about the difference between that shmick site and the stuff they were doing in the 80s with VCRs.
...but then, we are a media studies subject, so talking about and using technology is kind of par for the course (also, they have a practical component of this course, where they're learning flash - that's for you, Scotty!).