Digital Natives, Immigrants, Residents and Visitors

This course I am taking about Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) has me rethinking how I use the Internet for myself and my classes. The Digital Native vs. Digital Immigrant of 2001 (Mark Prensky) has carried us far, but the youngsters who grew up with the technology were being compared with people that grew up with outdated technology. That eventually warped into a generational falsh point, which it is not, really. I am old, but often use more technology in more different ways than my younger students.

Now we have David White from Oxford with a new way to look at the difference. First, the Digital Resident, a person who “lives” or at least puts some of his identity online, and a visitor, who uses the internet like a set of tools to get things done. This is a much better dichotomy.

Let’s watch David White. The 20 minutes are well worth it.

PLEs and learning from life, online and off

I’m taking a MOOC right now. That is a Massively Open Online Course. There are almost 1,500 people in the class. The classroom is spread all over the world. We all learn (notice I didn’t say “study”) about PLEs, or Personal Learning Environments. This is a relatively new idea. You build your own environment to learn things. The Environment can be your friends, experts, software, libraries, web sites, schools. There are usually six parts. Let me quote from Rita Kop (one of my “teachers”.)

The components that were formulated in Stephen Downes’ vision for a PLE at the start of the PLE project of the National Research Council of Canada are the following: 1. A personal profiler that would collect and store personal information. 2. An information and resource aggregator to collect information and resources. 3. Editors and publishers enabling people to produce and publish artifacts to aid the learning and interest of others. 4. Helper applications that would provide the pedagogical backbone of the PLE and make connections with other internet services to help the learner make sense of information, applications and resources. 5. Services of the learners choice. 6. Recommenders of information and resources.

Here is a quick slide show about PLEs that I made for my students.