In my last post I asked a question about edtags, and one of the responses got me thinking and inspired me to write this post.
While listening to one of the NECC webcasts, Our Students – Our Worlds, one of the points that were made on the side was that the kids who grow up with technology** have their place out there in the digital world. They choose a platform like Myspace based on what everyone else they know is using, and then that is where they stay. We, on the other hand, have tried myspace and facebook as well as Xing and others. Same for social tagging. Where are our tags? Are they in delicious, blinkspace, digg, diigo, or some other tool that will come up as the next best greatest thing? What will happen to our other tags? You can transfer this idea to bookshelves, musicboxes, picturebooks etc.
We as digital immigrants, however, are constantly searching and trying out new things. The result being that we have a little infomarmation scattered here and there, but no place to call home. We add a few details, look around, see how it works, and then a new tool is suggested to us by someone we know, an invitation to join – which we do, of course, and then the same thing happens again.
So are we a lost generation constantly in search for the perfect tool, which we’ll never find because, even if we do find it, a new one will come along, making the old one obsolete.
Why can then the digital users find a place to be and then stay there? What consequences will that have for them? What kind of consequences will our wandering have on us and our identity on-line?
And most important of all, how are we going to deal with this constant movement so that we have strong and useful ties to support and connect us? How are we going to approach all the new and exciting tools that will hit us in the future with even more and better possiblitites? What happens to the old tools we used and then fall into disuse?
**In the same webcast I believe, digital natives are described as being only natives for a very short time before new tools come up and they are no longer digital natives. Instead they become digital USERS.