I appreciate David Whites perspective (Thing2) that ageism pervades the “digital native/immigrant” model of digital learning. I appreciate his spectrum of “visitors and residents”, and the context-rich features of it. I remember many young students, teens and early twenties, asking me how to set up a virtual journal in the Moodle LMS. I remember hearing young students asking at the School Office for me (I was a lecturer in the School of Health Sciences at UniSA), and the staff saying with a smile “That’s her!”. A few minutes later the young students and I were sitting on the carpet just alongside the counter to the School Office, devices and papers spread around us, while I talked them through the set up of virtual spaces and places for the subject I taught. Other students came by, joined in and we had a spontaneous small tutorial in full flight. Later I was approached by the Subject Coordinator and told the Head of School had seen us and asked him who I was. A little later at a social function the Head of School saw me there, went to the Subject Coordinator, and asked to be introduced to me. Little had I known that squatting on carpets in front of the School Office surrounded by young noisy playful excited tertiary students was noteworthy by Heads of School.
Later still I met him again in a restaurant, when we were celebrating a colleagues passed PhD , and he told me he had hundreds of casuals working for him and did not know all their names and only some of their faces because there were so many and most taught online.
I remember a Wagga student, early twenties, telling us he had grown up on a remote farm in the far north west of NSW and had never had internet access, and that with the boom-and-bust economy of farming families and the resulting fluxing poverty cycles in rural and remote communities, he had never purchased a computer, mobile phone or devilish devices and so had not developed the digital skills and knowledge he now needed to manage the online environment we expected him to be a “native” of at Charles Sturt University. He had no prior knowledge of either the hardware nor the software capacities available. Of course, he soon did, with the help of a mentor or two.
So ageism has no place in the digital learning community. David White is helping confront this.