First blog post – What are Digital and Communication Technologies?

The first lecture for COMM140 commenced on the 2nd of August 2016. Dr Tanti initiated the lecture by presenting a video concerning Digital and Communication Technologies, although the technologies weren’t 21st Century machineries nor previously operated by individuals in our era. The video explored the future, OUR future! I found the video particularly intriguing, as I was able to observe endless possibilities of technology and the advancements that we, as educators, could operate and benefit from.

Digital technologies are electronic devices, tools and machines which allow individuals to collect and process data. Digital technologies consist of applications, websites, social media, programmes and software’s. Communication technologies include devices comprising of mobile phones, tablets, laptops and computers. Digital and communication technologies have significantly evolved in the 21st century, due to technological advancements and developments. Digital technologies are used for various reasons including programmes and websites including educational based and personal use, e-commerce, daily news including national and global levels, social media and communication means such as instant messaging, emails, blogging and video sessions. “Interactivity is the capability of new communication systems to ‘talk back’ to the user, almost like an individual participating in a conversation” (Rogers, 1986). The Internet is significant in households with 7.7 million Australian households having access to the Internet in 2014-2015, which represents 86% of homes, essentially demonstrating the importance of technology in the 21st Century (“8146.0 – Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2014-15”, 2016).

As students of COMM140, and aspirations to be educators within schools in the near future, knowledge and physical usage of technologies are vital, as students and classrooms rely heavily on technology based education with the touch of a button. Digital and communication technologies are used within classrooms, as technologies such as smart boards are commonly incorporated for education based learning, and also for entertainment and amusement for students, such as gaming activities and films/videos. Emails are a means of communication technology, which are used by educators for contact with colleagues, parents and students. Digital and communication technologies are apart of global individuals daily lives.

References

 THE FIRST REFERENCE BELOW IS FOR IMAGE USE ONLY.  

Second blog post – Do Digital Natives really exist?

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The first COMM140 tutorial commenced on the 2nd of August 2016, directly after the lecture had finished. Tutors Carmelo Aragone and Brooke Nugent requested students to locate an article written by Mark Prensky called Digital Natives and Immigrants, Part 1. An expectation after reading Digital Natives and Immigrants, Part 1 was to summarise the knowledge gained from the article including the definitions of Digital Natives and Immigrants, which will further be discussed.

Yes, I believe Digital Natives exist. A Digital native can be defined as individuals who have “spent their entire lives surrounded by and using computers, video games, digital music players, video cams, cell phones, and all other toys and tools of the digital age” (Prensky, 2001). Due to the upbringing and education forms that present children are developing with, their processing of information is essentially different from the generations of adults before them, fundamentally recognised as Native Immigrants. Native immigrants refer to older generations of individuals who weren’t educated via communication and digital technology means, instead text books and physical copies of information were used (Prensky, 2001). “Today’s average college grads have spent fewer than 5,000 hours of their lives reading, but over 10,000 hours playing video games” (Prensky, 2001) which identifies Digital Natives use of technology, and with technologies advancing, the usage by students will exponentially increase.

Education systems heavily rely on the use of technologies, including iPhones, laptops and smart boards, which essentially means that teachers are “struggling to teach a population that speaks an entirely new language” (Prensky, 2001) meaning the ‘pre-digital’ era, therefore as current students studying to be primary educators, knowledge and updates are vital for future students and occupations. There are positives and negatives for both the Digital Native and Immigrant. As the 21st Century is rapidly advancing technologically, Digital Immigrants may be inadequate to sufficiently operate a classroom via technology means, while Digital Natives may be inadequate to sufficiently communicate via interpersonal means.

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So a fundamental question to depart with is, will students be excessively technologically advanced for their teachers, where they are no longer the students, yet the predominant educators?

References-

(The first reference is for the images used for Blog post two, click the link to view more interesting images about Digital Natives and Immigrants, they’re quite interesting and funny!)