Tim over at Assorted Stuff has a post Please Stop Saying That that I could really relate to. He identifies four phrases that he would like to see eliminated from our discourse, and I have to say I totally agree with him. The offending phrases are:
21st Century skills
digital native/digital immigrant
back to normal
Tim explains his reasons for disliking all four, and they are good ones, I think.
The digital native/immigrant divide really irritates me. As Tim says, it is now used primarily by adults as an excuse for not using technology or for not keeping up with technology. As I am sure I have said somewhere before, I am 59 years old, and I am much more technologically aware than many of my students, who are about 20. It isn’t a questions of age but rather one of experience and interest. It is, I think, also a question of what we in the langauge teaching business refer to as tolerance of ambiguity. It is why some people travel and others stay home. Some people like to be out there experimenting and others don’t.
So what terms could we use instead of these? What terms actually describe the dichotomy, if there even is one? What is the real question? Any ideas?