Archive for November 26, 2008

“Digital Natives” Comments on IT in Kazakhstan

The following 10 comments are from my Academic Reading and Writing students after they heard me read my article about “Kazakhstan’s Orality vs. InfoLiteracy” off the screen.  (Read yesterday blog entry to find out what they read and responded to.)


A.K. Not only children and teenagers should learn computer skills as our President said but I think adults should learn computer literacy, because they teach us (children), but if they don’t know, how will the new generation develop in this sphere?  Nowadays presentations, work and all spheres of our life are connected with computers; Internet is very popular.  Lots of people use Internet for knowing news about the world, different countries and so on.  And information technologies are deeply connected with Internet, meaning computer literacy.


R.S. I believe that the division mentioned in the article is present.  From my own experience I can tell when speaking about digital technology with my parents is rather difficult because they basically don’t understand a word of my sayings.  Sometimes it makes me annoyed to explain the same things about how to use this and that over and over again for hundred times.  I wonder what will be in the future.  Will we, digital natives, be digital immigrants for our kids as the progress goes on and on and new inventions are still being made?


Z.S. We have to be surrounded by Information Technology in our globalized economy.  We must be the digital native, we must speak digital language.  It would be easier to communicate and get every information we want and need.  By using IT, we can get useful information to be beneficial in all situations.  As we know, all the job vacancies need us to be “Digital Natives.”  If we are, we’ll get more payment, we’ll earn more money.


A.A. Today is century of Information Technology (IT) and we can study with the help of IT.  I think, from the five kind of literacies, the best one is digital information literacy and it is most popular today.  All books we can find on Internet in digital format, all documents converted to digital format.  Education – we use a lot of digital technologies.  We have a lot of advantages of this.  We can economize our time by making wonderful presentations (Powerpoint).  Use Internet to find information and use electronic libraries to find electronic articles and books.  All of this increases our productivity and quality of education.


N.P. Digital inequality in Kazakhstani societies is one of the important problems for older generation.  It’s not only a problem for the global economy, but also a problem of the local society.  The seriousness of this problem mostly is reflected in the teacher-student relations.  For instance, even at our university, the most modernized university in KZ, there are some difficulties among the teachers who are above 50 years old.  Because they are digital immigrants in IT, on the contrary, students are born with “computers in hands.”


Y.K. IT is a part of our life, we cannot live without it.  I totally support that idea about “Digital Natives and “Digital Immigrants.”  Our president sees that Kazakhstan, having almost all culture is oral tradition, has difficulties with transferring to the “Digital World.”


D.D. Nowadays information literacy is very important in everyday life.  We face with digital technologies everywhere, when we go to the shop, there are cashier machines and we should know how does it work, in order not to be in delusion.  Our mobile phones, we can’t live without them, it became a part of our life.  Internet is another thing, where we should know Digital literacy.  For example, my Mom, she has her own small business, but before it, she didn’t know at all how to even turn on the computer, we presented her a mobile phone and it took her a lot of time to teach herself how to use it.  It is an example about digital natives and digital immigrants.  For her generation, it is strange, something new about these things.


A.Y. On the one hand, it is useful to master computer programs, Internet, even games for children.  But on the other hand, virtual life will become inevitable part of peoples’ lives and it can replace the real friends, parents and teachers.  A person who will use only computer and life with the life of this thing, just can be lost in this technological world.  And his life will be fulfilled only by programs and unreal games.  In my opinion, using computers, people shouldn’t forget about personal, real life and balance these two things.


Z.B. I think that our country is developing like many others in Europe and we have to use new innovations and new technologies because it is our future.  Also, I am agree that we are just developing country and our President is very aware of surrounding globalized economy.  Nowadays, we have some problems with teaching, not all the teachers want to use computers or have computer skills.  That is why first of all we have to change teaching strategies in schools because everything begins from school.  For example, include computers classes, three language classes with high qualified teachers.  Because nowadays more and more young children don’t know their native language.  It is a great problem.  And we have to know how to use new technologies, like computers in order to find a good job and to be in the same level as European countries.


A.K. Nowadays a lot of people have problems with new technology, and most of them are older people, for example, my mother.  And I think our schools should give all this technological knowledge because technology is the future and WE ARE THE FUTURE!

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