(Reflecting on Marc Prensky’s Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants)
The digital mind has clearly invaded our society. We need to adapt. We think differently, and will never return to traditional ways of thinking. We read differently now and we are gathering information at rapid rates. Brace yourselves…we will be experiencing much more. As Scott McCloud suggests, industries are changing. We need to prepare kids for those industries. But remember the turn of the industrial age? Remember how factories looked? In a Book I’m thumbing through, Literacy is Not Enough, it compares today’s service jobs to that of the factories of the industrial era. We are performing the same intensity of work but just not getting our hands greasy. Let’s be attentive to what’s important.
Hybrid learning is the best step to connecting kids digital world to their learning styles. Blended learning should make that connection from the digital world to the real world. My fear is that we will someday lose the physical touch and personal connections, and that we may somehow be overrun by all this digital stuff. My hope for other hybrid teachers is that you all remember the importance of personal connection. Greet and smile at every student who walks in your room. This should carry over into your personal lives. Remember to turn off “Words with Friends” when there are opportunities for “words with family”. Do these things and you will set good examples for your students.
Hybrid teachers need to be ambassadors for this digital transformation and share what we experience for the greater community. Don’t hold back just because it is new and innovative, doesn’t mean it is right. Think about all of your options and choose the one that maintains a balance. Innovation ≠ Right.