пятница, 8 февраля 2013 г.

#edcmooc: Back to Week-1: The story of Digital Native

After looking at several digital artifacts (and browsing several websites, formerly unknown to me, like Glogster) I thought that it would be interesting to define, where I am on this scale, with Digital Natives on one side and Digital Immigrants on another. Now I am 25 years old.

My first experience of using a PC, as I can remember, was when I was about 8 years old, and it was gaming experience. We had ZX Spectrum, which was used mostly to play games (This year I downloaded an emulator and tried to play those old games - they were surprisingly difficult, more difficult that I thought they were). Then an NES appeared, and one of my schoolmates had Sega.

It's interesting, that important part of my PC-related experience was reading. There were many books with ZX Spectrum games descriptions, which I read just like fiction books, and there were many magazines with articles about programming basics, PC architecture, beginners lessons of using text editor on PC etc. There were nothing or very few about Windows, and I read most of this materials just as curious child, before seeing any of described things in real life. Most of this materials were outdated already when I read it (there were magazines from mid 80's which I read in the second hald of 90's), but I think exatly from this magazines I got the idea of how PC works, what are files and catalogues, what are algorythms and programms.

So when I worked at Windows-based PC at the beginning of 2000's for the first time, it wasn't very difficult for me. I used it for playing games and for some schoolwork, and crashed the systen for two times, trying to tweak it. I didn't have regular connection at those time - there were dial-up times, and it was technically difficult and was not cheap. Sometimes I asked friend to download something for me or bring something on floppy disk.

Then one more time, when my knowledges were one step further than my real experience: I started to work as freelancer _before_ I got internet connection at home. I used internet at the university, in libraries (sometimes it was paid, sometimes free), and sometimes in internet-clubs. Till now I don't like to work with information online - I prefer to save what I need and then work with this content.

What now.. Now my nice netbook (small laptop) it my main tool for education and for work (and I play games too)). Sometimes I think about it like about body part - a longer hand, a better eye, a greater memory. I use some online-services, like this blog)) and I prefer e-books instead of paper books in most cases. Although I'm not IT-professional (and who can be further from IT than a person who studies old literature?), but people sometimes ask me to help with their PC or explain how to work with software or website... (The case I will bever forget was installing an Wikipedia mirror for offline use onto Android phone, when I saw Android for the first time... succesfull). So I can say in most cases I can grasp how something works (if itsn't some Apple product. I don't like them for different reasons and that's why I cannot intuitively grasp, how do their gadgets work)

I feel like I'm digital native, but my "language", my dialect, is a bit outdated already (partially because of outdated textbooks, partially because some features of my mind and perceprion (from the start textual information was easier for me than visual). For example, I prefer two-panel file-manager intead of windows explorer... Sometimes I take a role of translator, explaining something digital to elder people (and sometimes to younger).  But modern internet of videos and pictures (lack of text and reading worries me sometimes) and streaming information online isn't my natural environment. I can visit it for the short time, when I need it (e.g. maling digital artifact for this course), but then I would prefer to come back to my zone of comort - searching of information and structuring it, and working with all different kinds of texts.

I think after a couple of decades the distinction of  Digital Natives and Immigrants wouldn't be enough. We will need to speak about generations of Digital Natives.. Or maybe being a Difital Native means to have enoug flexibility to manage any new technology, what do you think?

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