Digital Immigrant……me?? Pftt!

I overheard someone using this terminology in the staffroom the other day and I had to laugh that people still refer to it…..yes, perhaps you are born to a particular era but that doesn’t mean you are stereotypically more likely or less likely to use technology successfully. I think we need to remember that Prensky decided to write about these stereotypes in 2001 and I think many people, whether regarded as native or immigrant, have been required to use more and more tedigital immigrantchnology within their day to day lives. Individuals within these ‘eras’ come from a range of cultural, geographical and social backgrounds which can effect the accuracy of the stereotype dramatically. By viewing our students as ‘Digital Natives’ we forget that they are individuals and in terms of learning, their skills may differ widely. Bennett, Maton & Kervin (2008) write that even though there is some research that points to a high proportion of technologically adept young people, there is also a significant proportion of this so called ‘digital native’ generation who do not have the high levels of access or skills in technology (p.779).

As teachers, I think we have all seen evidence of this within the classroom. My students are great at playing Clash of Clans but still require some coaching on finding and understanding information, or even presenting information effectively using ICT tools.

Bennett, S., Maton, K., & Kervin, L. (2008) The ‘digital natives’ debate: A critical review of the evidence. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(5), 775-786.


The Take Home Message

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has recently introduced 30 Second Thought Leadership: Insights from Leaders in the School Library Community, a new video podcast series delivering brief and practical advice from respected school library leaders on important questions about school libraries today and in the future. Questions are based on the themes of Knowledge Quest issues.

For the Jan/Feb 2012 issue, five leaders were asked to present their 30 second thought on the question: “Are school librarians an endangered species?”

View each of these 5 leaders and summarise in 100 words what you see as the ‘take home message’ with regard to answering this question.

The ‘Take Home message’ in regards to the question “Are School Librarians an endangered species?” is a very strong – NO!

All 5 of these individuals made strong arguments regarding the fact that the school librarian is not extinct but that this role is needed more than ever within our schools. Each individual made links to the changing information environment and the need for a trained individual to provide guidance on how to access information, in particular digital information. The majority of these leaders made reference to how the input from the Teacher Librarian will prepare students for success in the 21st Century.