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How to Teach Tech to Digital Natives

Updated: Aug 11, 2022

Today’s students have grown up in a world with the internet and advanced technology. According to a study on digital natives, most students are comprised of millennials and Generation Z who have accustomed themselves to digital technology. On the other hand, some studies have claimed the older generation are considered to be “digital immigrants” — including teachers. With this gap in experience and knowledge, there may be challenges in teaching digital natives beyond what they already know. To resolve this, it’s necessary for educators to take the extra steps to be familiar with technology in order to conduct tech-supported teaching and learning settings. Some great material teachers can consider is enhancing students’ knowledge of the technology itself and how they can apply it in their own lives. Listed below are some topics that may expand a digital native’s knowledge of tech:

Highlight the significance of tech education

With their growing involvement with tech, there may be children who want to pursue STEM careers. However, they may also have concerns about the difficulties revolving around next level tech education. It helps students when educators introduce relevant degrees and training programs so students can imagine their potential future in the field. This is why computer science degrees are expected to be very popular, as jobs in the industry will increase by 12% between 2018 and 2028. The current shortage of well-qualified computer science professionals means plenty of room for growth in a lucrative field. Teachers can also highlight what most computer scientists learn, such as programming, algorithms, logic, artificial intelligence, design, and more — to get students excited about those topics. Encouraging students to take introductory online courses like our Python and AI classes can get them started on learning more about the field.

Understand the importance of AI ethics

With greater advancements in technology, more systems have increasingly relied on artificial intelligence (AI) to automate and optimize tasks. As our post on AI ethics shares, the AI system has a huge impact on both humans and the environment alike by changing how data is perceived. To combat underlying issues that may arise from these unbiased data, there are set ethical principles for AI: Fairness, Transparency, Privacy, and Human Centeredness. These principles, although not perfect, ensure that users and other people are treated fairly, understand how the AI makes decisions, and remain safe while on the digital platform. For students, understanding the basics of AI and security can help them reassess their involvement online. Educators can further expand students’ knowledge of AI through videos and slide decks which can streamline the learning process.

Teach about social responsibility

With the younger generation’s greater involvement in technology, it’s essential for digital natives to understand the rights and wrongs of the online world. The study has identified a connection between social media addiction and cyberbullying, making digital natives either a victim or the perpetrator of these issues. Teachers can educate children and adolescents by warning them about these negative behaviors, and help them find the means to manage these emotions, rather than completely shutting them out. This, in turn, develops key values in students like patience — which may also benefit them in learning other subjects. Although digital natives are familiar with many technological processes, there are still ample opportunities to learn about technology. As they participate and experience the digital world, it’s important to understand their social responsibility and the influence of AI’s involvement. This, combined with their educators’ help, may encourage students to pursue greater technological education, which would benefit their future careers.

Article written by Remy Anne Jacobs

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