Algebra Digital Immigrants

Algebra Digital Immigrants

Who are the algebra digital immigrants? Students of today, studying algebra, are digital natives. Algebra teachers, digital immigrants supervising curriculum and instruction in today’s classrooms are digital immigrants. In the 1980’s, this doctoral learner while in the United States Marine Corps arrives for new duties at the United States Marine Corps reserve Headquarters in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Upon arrival this doctoral learners finds computers still in boxes stacked up in the corner of the office rooms. The computers had been there and not used for months. During this time the junior enlisted personnel were still using mimeograph paper to type up policy and regulation papers. This requires multiple changes and retyping for editing of documents, while the new technology remains standing in the corners of each office space. These old school, hard Corps leaders were the before the present digital immigrants.

Before Digital Immigrants - Prep Mature Digital Learners

The digital immigrant, old Marine Corps senior enlisted personnel were afraid of those PC’s in the boxes. This was a fear because they did not know how to use this new technology. Their expertise was in the old Marine Corps way of doing things. This was their comfort zone and allowed a sense of control through experience. There was a reluctance to change.

Algebra Digital Immigrants - Awareness

Digital Immigrants who are still in power and control are preventing the digital natives from accessing the use of technology that can help them achieve learning. It is unfortunate that the true learning of most American students will not occur until the digital immigrants are removed from powerful positions.

It is understandable why school district chooses at the time to make a policy that desires to ban the use of electronic devices in the classroom as a deterrent, but this policy fails to prevent the lost of such equipment because it does not totally ban the possession of the devices on campus. It does reduce the financial liability because the policy states that parents assume full responsibility of any loss that occurs on campus. However, time changes everything. There is a need for a change to the policy of a ban of electronic devices from inside the classrooms.

Algebra digital immigrants are the older people within the society who grew up with no computers, no cell phones, no Internet, no Xbox, etc. These people are the ruling authority figures in the public school systems that are familiar with technology, possess the technology but are resistant to change an incorporation of this technology into the classroom.

Helding (2011) states that there is a new theory of learning called “digital learning”, and it proposes that the current population consist of “digital natives” and digital immigrants.” Our current student population consists of those American citizens born into the digital age. Their early childhood has been digital with technological advancement part of their everyday lives.

According to Helding (2011), there is an increase during the past decades and proposes that because of this, digital natives learn differently because of technology. These changes influences how one communicates and connects to the rest of society. It is a mistake to abandon and not use the primary means of communication with today’s students.

Schools do not have the funds to provide calculators or computers to every student. Yet, a poll of a typical classroom at the secondary level you will find that the majority of the students have an electronic device with a calculator on it and wireless connection capability to reach the Internet. Educational leadership can no longer ignore the primary means of communication to today’s students. There must be a change to this policy that limits the liability to the district but allows the integration of mobile learning into the secondary classroom.


Helding, L. (2011). Digital natives and digital immigrants: Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age. Journal of Singing, 68(2), 199-206.

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