"Digital Natives in the Classroom" offered its readers a Digital Natives Quiz to take. I took the quiz…and according to the article and my answers, I guess you could call me a native speaker; meaning, I am comfortable with a wide range of technologies. However, with all this talk about the new D – gen (i.e. the Digital Generation), and how children have been raised surrounded by up-to-the minute technologies, I would not consider myself a part of this category.
Image via Kwout
Yes, according to the quiz, I am a native; however, the level of comfort that I have achieved, in terms of utilizing technology, has only recently developed. I have used computers, the internet, cell phones, digital cameras, etc. for many years throughout my life, but those resources are a miniscule portion of what is available. Over the course of my time at Michigan State University, I have been introduced to an astonishing amount of technology that I was not familiar with before. Last year, I took a course called, “Teaching and Learning with Technology”, CEP 416. This course introduced me to blogging, personal websites, wikis, twitter, Smart-boards, etc. Thankfully, I took full advantage of that course and in doing so, I have had practice working and playing with numerous digital resources.
During the last week of class, we spent a fair amount of time discussing our upcoming project…the “New Literacies Project”. I am really excited to begin the exploration process. As a class, we reviewed a great deal of technologies available for us to dive into! After listening to the variety of resources presented, I realized that, while I am familiar with a large amount of them, I still have a lot to learn. Honestly, no matter how comfortable I feel in terms of the technology available, there will ALWAYS be more.
I was looking through Gale E. Tompkins’ text, Literacy for the 21st Century, A Balanced Approach: 5th Edition, when I came across the term “emergent” (pg. 111). Tompkins utilized this word as a way to describe a how a child becomes literate; that is, how a child learns to read and write is emergent literacy (Tompkins, 2010). Right now, I’m going to use the word “emergent” to describe myself. Currently, I am an emergent new, digital literacy learner. I am in the process of learning the ins and outs of the technologies out there.
I can’t imagine that I will EVER be anything other than emergent. Since the influx of technology is so rapid and growing exponentially, there is no possible way that an individual can be anything other than emergent. It just isn’t possible for one person to feel comfortable working with every single technological resource out there.