Mary Lim

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

ia: design directions + digital native

  • digital natives are those who grew up with technology, and were born into it
    • "speak fluently" in digital language
  • digital immigrants are those who were born before the digital age, who usually have a harder time adapting to the hi-tech process
  • differences in socialization between the two
  • gap between digital immigrant professors and digital native students
    • digital natives are used to receiving information very fast
      • have little appreciation for new skills 
      • less patience for "step-by-step" instruction
    • the same methods of the digital immigrants will not work with the digital natives
    • digital natives are unlikely to go back in time to the digital immigrant's way of learning
  • implications
    • today's digital immigrant professors should...
      • faster, less step-by-step, in parallel with other topics
      • incorporating both methods information
        • legacy - reading, writing, ideas of the past, tradition
        • future - digital, tech
        • how to use both?

This question involves thinking about current state of interactive design curriculum and addressing risk taking in interactive design. As technologies constantly change how do you stay up with new technologies?

I think young people today around their 20-30s, like myself, have a unique experience apart from clear-cut digital natives and digital immigrants. This age group was born in a period of transition from analog to digital; we were able to have a taste of what it was like pre-internet and before the age of social media but still be able to fluidly adapt to technology. 

When I was younger, I remember asking what it was like for my parents to experience new technology like cellular phones. They replied that new tech was pretty exciting, but it also seemed natural within its timeframe. I wonder if today, this still holds true. Has technology jumped too far ahead for it to naturally and seamlessly adapt to all ages, old and young? 

According to Marc Prensky, it seems like there needs to be an obvious effort to incorporate how digital natives learn. He went even so far as to separate the world into two clear groups, digital natives and digital immigrants. 

I have definitely felt this difference and gap between instructors and students, in terms of how they relate to technology. When I was growing up, I had the general feeling that school and tech could not go together. Phones weren't allowed in class, laptops were discouraged, and instructors were still relying on what they've learned in the past. We did have computer classes, but whenever professors tried to incorporate digital mediums, it seemed forced and unnecessary to me. For example, playing a game on the computer that would teach us multiplication, but would fail to keep kids engaged. Applying "the digital" felt a little superficial and not completely immersive at the time. However, it may be different for kids today, though I'm not sure what their experience is like.

I think I stay up to date with new technology when instructors learn with us. Students and instructors are both learning new technology that gives us new tools, but both don't know how to use it. One successful experience I had with this was in my Typography 2 class. We were learning how to make interactive editorial articles in InDesign. The instructor did not have much experience with it, however we collectively went through it together. 

I think this is the most immersive and best way to keep up with technology, in terms of education.

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