The Digital Natives roll up their sleeves

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Sandra Porter
About mid-morning, my 16yr old daughter called me from school and asked me to help her get an interview transcript that was on her computer. Four years ago, when my older daughter was in high school, I would have printed that document and driven to the school to deliver it. Not today. Today, I found the document on YD's computer, opened a browser, logged in to Google Docs, uploaded her file to my Google Docs account, and set the sharing settings so that YD could log in from school and get the document, which she did. No one had to drive to the high school. No child had to stand outside in the rain waiting for parental delivery. The file traveled on it's own through the cloud and made it to school on time. This child is a digital native. She makes digital movies and uploads them to her own YouTube account. She's on Facebook and keeps tight control over the privacy settings. She helps the whole family watch TV since she knows how to navigate the waters of Hulu, Megavideo, and other sketchier sites. And, in her high school AP Euro or AP history classes, she routinely uses Google Docs to collaborate on papers and study guides with her classmates. But when it comes to her science classes... It's a different story. It's been my impression that many science teachers are on wrong side of the gap when it comes to the digital divide. I have more to say about this later, but in the meantime, what do you think? Does it seem like high school science teachers use computing tools with their classes (i.e. Google Docs, social media, other web tools) as much as teachers in other areas?

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