Revisiting The Digital Divide

Someone I follow on twitter, re-tweeted a post by @LeungAsh which brought up this topic the other day and got me thinking about it again. Back in 2009 while studying to be a teacher, I ran across the idea of Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants (Prensky 2001). This then lead me to Dave White’s (@daveowhite) concept of Digital Visitors and  Digital Residents (University of Oxford 2009).

In 2009, he presented his ideas in a video on the Tall Blog for Oxford University. In 2011 when I stumbled upon Dave White’s ideas, I had already drunk the metaphorical cool-aide and wore my badge as a Digital Native, despite being born in 1979 (I was an IT teacher, damn it!). I proudly adopted adopted the badge of Digital Resident and continued on my way, thinking (and probably writing ) about it. I about to graduate from being student teacher to teacher and was intent on teaching Information Technology and changing the world (well a little tiny section of it, as my wife had already been a teacher for the last 4 years, and I knew what the reality of it was, or so I thought).

Then life got in the way; I jumped into the trenches of teaching, which was the followed by having a child. I became focused on developing my teaching in a hands on, why are they not listening to me way. I finally got a handle on that (on good days) when parenthood shook up my universe. 5 years on in 2016, I find myself once again exploring the education theory landscape. Ash Leung’s twitter post (@leungAsh) yesterday really got me asking myself “how has this idea evolved in the last 5 years?”

So as any resident or visitor would do, I did a google search. Dave White seemed to of answered my question;

In 2015 Aaron Davis  wrote a great piece called Mapping the Divide: Visitors and Residents on the Web. I found the above video there. He (Aaron Davis) summed up movement from the idea of Natives and Immigrant to Resident and Visitors elegantly.

I did notice something though, much of the information and discussion on this topic seems to have changed little in the last few years. I actually don’t feel like I have missed the last 5 years of this idea evolving and growing. I think that, my growth as a teacher and digital resident has kept me in the loop somehow.

Our technology has evolved and has become more integrated than ever before, but as people there actually hasn’t been much change in how we engage with the web. Yes social media is everywhere, but it it does not feel anymore prevalent now than it did five years ago, there is just more variety.

And this got me thinking. In fact it has triggered a whole lot of thinking. For me thinking leads to googling, which leads to reading, which leads again to thinking and so on, until I decide to write some of thoughts on this blog. I want to know how this idea fits into my school and how others approach integration of technology into the classroom. For me, it is seamless and without thought; I choose what will engage my students and achieve my desired learning outcomes. For others, it is a burden and makes things more work than before. The idea of Residents and Visitors, is very applicable to teachers; we quite literally can fall into these categories; there are those who use it when they have to and those who use it as an extension of what they are doing. 

 

 

 

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