The incredibly interesting forum discussion this week on the digital native, digital immigrant concept
(great question, Amy!) got me thinking about something else along those lines.
Some of the things mentioned in the comments seemed not be be about technology per se, but more about how much responsibility a teacher has to understand the experiences, culture and context of the kids they teach. I often hear teachers say, "well, I don't watch TV" or they never read any popular children's books. Can you be a teacher who "gets" kids if you haven't read Harry Potter? Wouldn't it help you to understand what High School Musical is about and think about what is resonnating with the kids? What if you could help a kid understand something by likening it to Transformers or Pokemon? What if a girl who doesn't understand that she's as good at computers as the boys would understand if you talked about the pink Power Ranger?
And this is just pop culture stuff. I'm sure many teachers spend a lot of time learning about their students families and backgrounds, and it makes them more effective. Why not in technology too?
Seems like being able to make some forays into the world of the kids, even though it isn't to your personal taste, is like any other professional learning task. And if IMing or blogging or having a MySpace account is where they are, seems like it's just part of the job to check it out. IMHO, anyway ;-)
What do you think?