- First, my students have primarily used paper-based, analog tools up until this year in my 1:1 laptop classroom. From preschool through grade four they've been mostly analog with a bit of digital thrown in.
- Most of my students are not yet very adept at moving between applications on their little netbooks, reading the content on a website, then switching to a word processor to summarize what they just read in THEIR OWN words. Maybe in the future this will be second-nature; but, we're not there yet.
- Going 100% digital on projects like research papers makes it too easy to succumb to the copy-paste temptation and end up plagiarizing their sources. Even with paper-based notecards it's hard to break some students of this habit. Where did they ever learn to do that in the first place?
- I still find value in sorting through 30 notecards all laid out on my desk, moving around the various sub-topics represented on the cards so that my whole research paper flows in a logical way. Children, too, are still learning to use digital tools to see the "big picture" on a small screen, and the desk is a much more appropriate pallet on which to see this big picture view.
I don't particularly find value in the digital native—digital immigrant metaphor. I think it fosters the either-or thinking that I also find less than helpful. How about being a digital native who can also utilize analog tools in an appropriate manner to complete a task or project? Or, vice-versa: a digital immigrant who's learned to speak digital? My hat's off to Both—And!