ISTE Standard 6: Technology Operations and Concepts
Question: How can school districts utilize the technological knowledge of Digital Native Students?
In the article Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants, Marc Prensky’s (2001) wrote that our students today are, for the majority, “native speakers” of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet. This got me to thinking. As many educators are from the pre-digital age and may not be as tech-savvy as our students, how can we utilize their technological knowledge to benefit our schools? In the article, School Districts to Use Kids to Help Troubleshoot Tech Issues, Dan Waters (2013) reports on a school district in Chicago that is utilizing its tech-savvy high school students by creating a group of high school students called iAgents. The iAgents were on hand, during the summer and the first week of school, to pass out and set up each of the student body’s iPads and Chromebooks for the coming school year. According to Water’s, the high schools had the iAgents manning a help desk in the library during students’ lunch periods to assist with any issues that would arise as well as the managing of online forums where kids could post questions about how to access class materials and lessons, among other topics.
These iAgents are such a great example of students demonstrating a sound understanding of technological concepts, systems and operations. What I like most about what this school is doing is that it is creating a place for tech-savvy kids to become creative, helpful and needed. I know that a lot of my students have a hard time finding a place to fit in within our high school. I think that if we had a program that offered students the ability to work with technology and use the skills that they excel at, our students would find a sense of pride and accomplishment that they may not have felt before. I love that this program creates peer interaction between students and encourages teamwork.
Prensky, Marc. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon. Retrieved from http://www.albertomattiacci.it/docs/did/Digital_Natives_Digital_Immigrants.pdf
Waters, Dan. (2013). School districts to use kids to help troubleshoot tech issues. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-08-20/news/ct-tl-lkw-schools-tech-support-20130821_1_six-students-lake-zurich-high-school-google-chromebooks