The digital natives, digital immigrants concept is too simplistic.
Many more primary students than secondary pupils are involved in Web 2.0 type activity.
Access and opportunity: In order, from 100% down to about 10%, young people have access to:
- Mobile phone with camera
- Digital camera
- MP3 player/recorder
- Desktop games console (Xbox, Wii)
- Handheld console (Nintendo DS, PSP)
- Wired internet
- Mobile (no camera)
Activity is often low-level and unmemorable ('I didn't do my homework because "I was on MSN or something"'). There continues to be little evidence of creation of digital content.
School is a different place: Using 'their' tools at home, tools like Bebo, would take the fun out of it. Having the teacher on those tools is "weird". 'Collaboration' becomes placing a problem on Bebo, changing their name to CanYouHelpMeDoThisOnBebo and waiting for friends to deliver segments of the project before bringing it together.
Does anyone use Wikipedia: "Yes, Oh Yes. Every single bit of homework, just type it in, get that, copy and paste."
"If there was a science test I'd probably just go to the text book. You know where everything is in the textbook but I don't know where to find it on the web."
Web 2.0 challenges with the practice of education:
- Resource overload (I've only just learnt how to... and now you want me to...).
- ICT absorbing the budget (we have to replace this because it's not fast enough).
- Dissemination (viral dissemination among teachers in a school).
- Assessment (matching 'romance' to the realities of summative testing).
- Most of the students use or are aware of web 2 sites but are surprised that they can be used "professionally".
As far as I'm concerned, these are not dissimilar from the challenges we face in higher education.