Any stereotype will have at least an element of truth when considered across a population or community and in this way, Mark Prensky’s terminology certainly rings true for many people. My own children text and type faster than I can follow and I noted that a recently retired colleague had printed almost every email she had ever received! When stereotypes limit our views and expectations of ourselves and others is where problems arise.

In my earlier post, I wrote about students seeking offline activities and it must be noted that there is a current trend away from the digital connectedness we associate with young people. On the blogsite,¬†Cyborgology, PJ Rey wrote in 2012 about the hipster movement and a ¬†desire to actively move away from the complexitiies of contemporary technology. Alternately, some young people just don’t have the access to technology that we expect they will. Likewise, through work or interest many people of the ‘digital immigrant’ generations are adept technology users.

Where we expect and excuse our discomfort with all things new by claiming to be outside the spectrum of those who are naturally adept, we limit our potential. Likewise where we assume that young people are all skilled tech users, we potentially limit finding those who aren’t and who would benefit from further support and guidance.

As previously discussed, collaborative processes where teachers and students work and learn together, where no one is expected to have all of the knowledge but all are encouraged to try (and fail and try again) and where there is diversity of tools and techniques will produce the best learning outcomes.

 References

Rey, P.J. 2012. Hipsters and Low Tech. Cyborgology retrieved from http://thesocietypages.org/cyborgology/2012/09/26/hipsters-and-low-tech/