As I sit here and watch my 3-year-old daughter create amazing pictures with her new, Apple branded colored pencils (very analog) I can’t help but wonder where is all the great stuff our digital native students are creating? Maybe I am missing something on the web, but I haven’t really seen any good student podcasts, good student blogs, or media galleries — just sort of surprises me. I just spent the last couple of days with Apple (hence the colored pencils) talking about how great iLife is … and how easy it is to produce killer content. Some of that I buy, but I am just stunned there aren’t more students at the higher education level taking the time to create — not just consume.
I think it would be very cool if there were a few really killer places that I could listen to higher ed students discuss what’s on their minds in a podcast. It would help us understand them better — in all sorts of contexts. It just strikes me that we talk about all this digital native stuff and we aren’t seeing much evidence of their existence. I know its there … but, I fear it is all locked into proprietary LMS/CMS tools on campuses across the country. I just don’t like that idea … it doesn’t add to the conversation at all. Is it a situation where they are creating and we just can’t get to it? If it is, it is another reason why people need to get out of the idea that everything must live inside a protected toolset. Am I wrong to say that the web is a repository? I know it isn’t ideal, but with search technologies as advanced as they are, one would think its getting close to as powerful as the lousy tools we use in higher ed to store and index stuff.
Shouldn’t we just have our stuff in web space (like virtual drives) that can be moved around via pointers in and out of LMS/CMS tools, blogs, wikis, whatever? RSS could do this … so could the old stand by, hyperlinking. I’d like to be able to learn from the digital natives, but we’ve done such a “good” job of protecting them, we aren’t able to see their work. Someone please tell their students to start producing some evidence of their digital capabilities in a place where we can see it … I know that’s what I’ll be doing with mine this summer — no ANGEL, just a public space that we can begin to share from.