Did you grow up with technology? Could you type your name before you could write it?
Nah, neither did I.
The Family Way
But I had different experiences to many people my age. My grandfather was an avid electronics buff, typed about a million words per minute and had a pretty good handle on computers. He used to create cute little computer programs and send them to us on cassette tapes for our old 'sharp' PC. My mum was also pretty handy; she eventually became one of the early website designers.
So even though almost nobody had computers in their homes when I was a kid, I had one around from about 9 years of age. Mind you, they were a little different then. I even managed the odd program myself - basic was pretty much that - basic. Mum'd buy little books full of basic programs and we'd tinker away...
But I'm getting off track. I guess the point I'm trying to make...well actually I'm not sure of the point I'm trying to make.
But apparently there's a new breed of people coming up through the educational ranks. They're called the 'digital natives'. They're called that because they have grown up with technology. They could type before they could write, they have spent up to 6 hours a day watching a screen since they were tiny, they are wired up in so many ways (phones, iPods, PS2s, xboxes etc etc). And because their before-school experiences to ours (the digital immigrants), they are probably going about their learning in different ways too.
But I'm not really doing the concept justice. Marc Prensky explains it pretty well:
Have a read and see what you think. He has a website if you want to go further (there are actually whole communities out there devoted to digital natives. If you're interested, start at MarcPrensky and go from there (there are also a couple of Facebook groups).