I love using technology as a tool to support learning in my classroom. We have a class wiki, a class website with links and published work and a class blog. We craft movies after writing scripts, filming and editing. Students have learned how to troubleshoot and why it's best to have a laptop on a flat, hard surface. (Yes, I know they are called laptops, but that's a bit of a misnomer. They get hot and keyboarding is more of a challenge on one's lap too.) My students were born at the turn of the century, that is the 21st century. They have always lived in a world filled with cell phones, MP3 players, cable and the Internet. My students are digital natives.
While I grew up in a time when you had to approach the TV to change the channel, used a "land" line to call your friends, researched using encyclopedias and typed papers on a typewriter, I have adapted to the ever changing world of technology. I read about new technology tools, find ways to use them when it's appropriate and even competed a master's degree in Instructional Technology. Technology is an important part of my life. I plan lessons using my laptop, enter grades in PowerSchool, call parents on my smart phone, connect with friends, write on my blog, family and colleagues on Twitter and Facebook, and pay bills online. However, I am and will always be a digital immigrant.
I still look back fondly to the long ago days I spent riding around on my bike. When I wanted to hang out with a friend, I'd knock on their door to see if they could play. My time was spent outside whenever the weather was nice. The only video games I played were Pac-Man and Centipede at an arcade. I listened to records and later 8-tracks. We used maps to find our way. While I have willingly (well, most of the time) entered the digital world, I still sometimes think life was a bit easier, more relaxed even, back when we weren't so connected.
What will my students think about the technological changes they will encounter as they become adults? Will they look back and think life was easier and more relaxed too? Our world changes at an ever increasing rate. "Change is good, you go first...."