Terry Dick in “Teaching Digital Students Non-Digital Things” claims that current media is not impotent, but “merely out of focus,” when it comes to reaching young student audiences. It is up to educators to help support student’s processing of media in an effective and constructive way. Dick goes on to reference classic pieces of literature such as “Moby Dick” and “To Kill a Mocking Bird.” He goes on to argue that “Moby Dick isn’t dead as much as it is opaque to a connected generation of readers,” and that these novels must establish “new-found and increasingly visible relevancy.” With a growing number of media outlets and a generation of students more equipped than ever to engage with new technology it presents literature teachers with an interesting challenge. Classic pieces of literature have come to characterize the reading/writing/literature classroom culture. It is important that teachers of literature incorporate past-classics and ideas while at the same time introducing students to current and relevant literature technology. Dick concludes that “Digital is a space. Digital is a Tool. Digital is a Process. What it teaches is not.” This is a highly thought-provoking argument. Today, students can access any information regarding any text on any variety of devices: computers, laptops, mobile phones, etc. Websites like sparknotes.com act as a delivery system that regurgitates and summarizes information in books and texts. It can be difficult for digital students to refrain from taking advantage of the media tools available to them. Abusing the available resources comes at the expense of a better education. The media today’s students can access is largely beneficial in many circumstances, but in other ways it can contribute to less academically inclined students.
79% of teachers use media and technology as teaching tools. It is up to those teachers to impose the proper checks and balances on classroom technology. Good habits in the classroom will likely translate into good habits outside the classroom.