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26 October 2005 / erikduval

Elza Dunkels @ Skelleftea

I was late for the talk by [Elza Dunkels]( on “the digital native as a student” – of course, she referred to [Marc Prensky]( who coined the term “digital immigrant and native”.

Themes in her talk:

– natural learning: This was a bit unclear to me: I think Elza was referring to the more natural
– surfacing: Bullying can become visible, as can be the fact that students are messaging during lectures. Before, the fact that thoughts were wandering to other topics was less visible. Social feedback on eBay for instance similarly increases transparency.
– openness: This is more focused on users: blogs, moblogs, communities, etc. (Hey, this applies to me!) Dangers include predators like pedophiles.
– informal learning: For Elza, this refers to all learning outside of the educational system. A simple example is that youngsters now know how to type without taking classes, which is how Elza learned typing at school. Another example is a girl posting pictures she’s processed with Photoshop – they looked quite good. The point was that that girl had quite bad grades, and failed her art classes…
– collective learning: Elza had posted her own definitions from her web site to the Swedish version of wikipedia. The next day, someone asked in the discussion forum whether she had the permission 🙂 Since, her original definitions have evolved and she has learned herself in the process.

Elza encouraged the participants to integrate informal learning into educational systems: not by adjusting to youth culture, but by using the forces of informal learning. We should develop strategies for change, rather than trying to fight it. Learning should be a collective process.

Interested? [Elza has a blog](…

Questions from the audience:

– Isn’t television and music a part of youth culture at least as much as Internet?
– Will the digital native still be able to critique the digital revolution, or is he just a part of it?

I had a question about whether the difference is not that we are moving to something specific that is different from what we have now, but that the rate of change is what is different: the digital natives of today will be digital immigrants of the world 5 years from now!


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