I am definitely an immigrant. I am very attracted to technology but I think my use tends to be superficial. I covet the newest stuff, usually adopt during the 2nd generation and bounce around from product to product looking for something that I can’t quite define (can you say, “abstract random” . . . “nice try”). I like to experiment with my teaching and am constantly looking for effective alternatives to traditional techniques. I keep thinking that there has to be a better way.
I have known that kids are different from my experience as a kid for a long time. I would watch in amazement as my oldest son, at the age of 4 or 5, would play a maze game on a hand-held device and know exactly where he was at any time by the minute details on the tiny screen. I recall watching my other son at the age of 8 or 9 playing a video game on the TV, with a computer on his lap looking up cheat codes for another game that he was telling to his cousin on a cell phone.
I have wanted to incorporate gaming into my class for quite a few years now. I have played with “Scratch” a little bit as a possible means of game creation and have had a few students work with it in the past. They passed me up in knowledge about the product in a matter of hours or less. I wasn’t surprised that they passed me but I was a little surprised at how quickly it happened. I will definitely continue to look at gaming and game creation as a differentiation strategy.