Children today are not born with an umbilical cord, but a computer cord. Kids aren’t the way they use to be. How many times have you caught yourself thinking or saying this? Theories today believe that children form these generations are actually different, meaning their brains are different from when we were children. What can we do about it, or should we do anything at all? This paper will examine children today and the difference between the generations. Secondly, due to the difference in generations, the importance of maintaining social interaction, critical thinking and problem solving skills, which, are just as important as technical fluencies for the 21st century. In order to maintain the “humanity” skills, I will discuss the importance of Daily Physical Activity (DPA). Furthermore, the paper will also examine the importance of building a bridge between the digital divide. It is necessary to examine the educational system and the digital divide. Children are engulfed in a digital world and have different experiences and environment. How do we build a bridge between the technical fluencies and the humanity skills necessary to be successful in the 21st century?
Digital Residents are they really different?
Mark Prensky (2001) has coined the phrase Digital Natives versus Digital Immigrants. To put it simply, Digital Natives (DN) have always had the new technology (cell phones, video games, digital music, computers) while Digital Immigrants (DI) have come into these things later on in life and have had to learn “it” above and beyond the old ways they had of doing things. Is there a difference? Children today are born into a digital world and use technology from a young age. The Digital Natives/Learner finds technology engaging therefore, technology is a part of daily practice. According to Mark Prensky, by the age of 21 the Digital Native will have:
played more than 10,000 hours of video games
sent and received 250,000 emails and texts
spent 10,000 hours on phones
watched more than 20,000 hours of TV
seen more than 500,000 commercials (Prensky 2001, p.1).
What are the implications of digital bombardment? Prensky (2001) argues that students think and process information fundamentally different from their predecessors. These different experiences lead to different brain structure. The consequence of digital bombardment is that the brain is adapting to accommodate the technology that is engulfing our lives. According to Gary Small author of iBrain, (2008) the generation gap refers to more than differences in values and beliefs, this generation actually has a “brain gap”. A brain gap, “...points to an actual evolutionary change in the wiring of today’s younger minds- a change in neural circuitry that is fundamentally different from that of their parents and grandparents” (Small, & Vorgan, 2008, p. 24). Digital Natives have built neural pathways that some Digital Immigrants have not developed or have...