Sunday, May 13, 2012

On Mother's Day

I generally dislike talking about or even thinking about parenting.  It's more than just boring; it's a painful reminder of the tediousness of the experience.  To talk about what a tedious time people are having just adds to the grating irritation of all those repetitive tasks.  Even funny mom-stories aren't usually funny to me.

But I feel like talking about Mother's Day today to weigh in on some books newly released.  Two reviews were in the New York Times this morning.  I have no intention of reading the books, so the reviews will have to suffice.  And I want to think a bit about the day - not in a Hallmark-bashing way, but as a day to contemplate motherhood.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Prensky's Natives and Immigrants

I just finished reading Teaching Digital Natives.  It's being read by the teachers and administrators of the new type of course that I've been on about lately.  I wish I had been given it last summer.  After a year of trying to piece together the main ideas of the program from snippets of philosophy and examples of projects, it seems to me this book may be a bible of sorts.

Where to begin?

Let's start with the Urban Dictionary's entry for Digial Nativism:
Mistaken belief that young folks who were born immersed in things digital are somehow in a state of grace and older folks are cursed by their age and lack of digital conditioning.  Arrogant and insulting division of generations into different camps first proposed by Marc Prensky but unfounded on any survey data.  With an insulting tone worthy of the original American nativists who hated immigrants (especially Catholic ones), Marc Prensky speaks of pre-iPod humans (digital immigrants) contemptuously.  This is simply digital nativism, a kind of generational prejudice that is ill founded and unsubstantiated.

Wow.  I think Prensky hit a nerve.  Let's see how mistaken this belief really is.