Instant messaging isn’t a new technology. I can remember my first experience using a computer was to join chat rooms in AOL. Those where the days, making things up as you talked to random people from all over. Do people still use AOL chat rooms anymore?
Today there a numerous ways to instantly chat with people. Me and my partner Bryan did our chat via Skype. I have used Skype in the past, usually only if I am out of town and I want to see and talk to my wife. (Skype has video capabilities also) So I am familiar with using Skype and its chatting capabilities. My partner and I didn’t do a video chat, that can be awkward sometimes, (I once had a student Skype me and wanted to video chat but I had no shirt on and thought that might be unprofessional) but we had a spiffy conversation over the article by Prensky.
From our conversation we both agreed that students brains today are not wired any different than students in the past, but they might be more engaged if technology is utilized more in school. We both believed teachers need to get on the technology train no matter their background and try to use technology when appropriate. One hurdle we discussed that prevents the both of us from using technology is curriculum itself. I some times feel I need to make sure I cover material and not worry about coming up with some cool assignment that uses technology. There have been times when I felt I “overloaded” my students with technology that they just “shut down”… sorry for the puns. So even though our students may be “Digital Natives” it doesn’t mean we should bombard them with technology. The counter article confirms this.