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Some thoughts about digital natives and immigrants

Another end of year and this is a good time to reflect on what we have done during all this period. Personally, I have already improved in some aspects, however in some others I should continue working on. The feeling of being able to have done it better still persists. Maybe, this is just the chronic disease I suffer year after year.

I spent the whole year concerned about the concepts of digital natives and digital immigrants to discover that such a difference does not exist at all. Nobody is born digital. Being lucky enough to be in touch with computers since I remember, I have done plenty of courses, and after some time of observation, now I can affirm that the supposed digital natives just learn by clicking here and there without fundaments. When the DOS system appeared it was essential to know which and how to use the different commands, but now with the Windows system everything changed and the fear of making mistakes disappeared. So in my opinion, it is just a fact of practice, obviously, directly in proportion with the time spent on it, depending on accessibility and an excuse as well. Other important point that called my attention was the fact that most of my learners are not familiar with the use of e-mails or send text messages; they only make use of basic chat.

Considering things, I have found very difficult to set a solid approach to the web page appliances. It´s really hard make them think about the computer like a tool and not just a device for playing with it all the time; probably, as a consequence of previous experiences in using computers in learning which failed in their goals or consequently as a transition symptom of change.

Fortunately, I came across some web pages, the ones I was trying to find for a long time, where students can practise while playing but in a funny way and doing some kind of effort to read or at least reasoning what is asked to them. Some others were so simple that they managed to win or score points without paying attention, just by clicking nonsense and several times. Thanks to people who realized that those weak points made the use of this kind of small software a waste of time, and changed them to something productive and motivating at the same time. That´s the way we improve, by trying new methods, manners besides making mistakes.

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