What does it mean to be a student in the Digital Era?

Today I would like to play the devil’s advocate for a bit. Two weeks ago I saw two vídeos that I found to be disconcerting. The vídeos discussed learning today, and raised several issues regarding DNs and how they relate to technology.

The first vídeo is introduced by the following quotation:

“Today’s child is bewildered when he enters the 19th century environment that still characterizes the educational establishment, where information is scarce but ordered and structured by fragmented classified patterns subjects, and schedules.”

As the vídeo goes on, many ideas are introduced. Among them is that computing can be incredibly controversial and ubiquitous: on the one hand, we have the possibilities of the Internet and technology in Education, and on the flip side, we have DNs suffering to keep up with their studies, having to be multi-taskers, using their free time to read thusands of webpages, write e-mails, and surf social networks such as Facebook. The vídeo seems to endorse the idea that although the 19th century saw scarcity of information as a problem, maybe having too much information did not solve the problems per say, but just changed how these issues are perceived and dealt with.

The second vídeo is more education driven. Although it also refers to how DNs have to think today, in learning environments where students are bombarded with information that their professors might not even be aware of. This vídeo reveals the extent to which technology can become a negative force, how it creates new challenges in the way we think, and finally, it portrays how unprepared most of us are to deal with such situations.

In addition to this, we must also take into consideration those who have no access to such technology. As we think of solutions to better engage learners who are imersed in ubiquitous computing, we leave victims of the digital divide aside, increasing the distance between those who have access and those you do not.

What has changed for students since the 19th century? Anbd to what extent are these changes positive? Up to what point do students benefit from the use of technology in their lives, before it becomes a hindrance to learning, rather than an aid?

– andré valle