EDT902 Critical Issues in Ed Tech
eMagazine for educators - by Diana Knight - April 2013 - Vol. 1
Digital Natives: Who are they? How should education respond?
Rationale for this project
As educators, we have heard about the changing needs of the 21st century learner for many years! Although, I saw many changes in the technologies themselves, I did not recognize changes in the user until most recently. From 2006 to 2012, I had to "teach" kids to navigate new software, programs, browsers, and devices, and with that, I needed to help build confidence and provide access to these items.
However, today, I have noticed a distinct difference between my learners. I find the differences between my second grade vs. my fifth grade students to be very surprising, and reflecting of the change we’ve been warned was coming. Now, when I teach "how to" lessons to my second graders, I can give a two minute tutorial on, let's say, how to add images to a PowerPoint presentation. They run with it! Their learning and absorption is almost instant. They have no fear, no hesitation. These natives are able to complete a presentation quickly; adding and evaluating content is their only obstacle, but they are second graders, so that's expected.
Whereas, teaching fifth grade students to add images to Animoto, requires more prompting, reminding, a longer tutorial, time spent building confidence, and allowing for trial and error. They have apprehension and hesitation, along with a fear of doing the wrong thing, pressing the wrong button. Even though computer technology has been available their whole life, they take the approach of the digital immigrant.
As a side note, I discussed using Animoto with tenth grade high school students that volunteer in my library, and they stated that they had never used this website, nor made video creations of anything.
Who are digital immigrants?
Is there a gap between them?
21st Century Fluency Project characterizes native and immigrants by what we prefer in the following manner (Jukes, McCain, Crocket, 2010).
25% of teens are “cell-mostly” internet users—far more than the 15% of adults who are cell-mostly. Among teen smartphone owners, half are cell-mostly.
(Pew Research, 2013)
How should education respond to our active learners?
web 2.0 tools
low level to high level
This next video clip asks the question, how should education respond? Various experts, Scott McLeod and Ian Jukes, of the 21st Century Fluency Project, talk about solutions, the need for leadership and moving forward with all that we know about digital natives.
Next steps and suggestions
Recommendations for Educators
Suggestions in the videos stated that a place to start would be changing from low level thinking skills to higher level thinking skills. Another suggestion was to take "baby steps" and make small changes; change one lesson this week, add a new activity, change one unit this quarter, start small so that the changes won't feel so daunting.
Then start using searches. Get comfortable searching. Search your own interests first, then start searching the interests of your students. There is an abundance of things to learn on the Internet, Jukes recommended starting with sites like these:
Sites for Teachers: www.sitesforteachers.com
The best on the Web for Teachers: http://teachers.teach-nology.com
The Teacher List: www.theteacherlist.ca/
I don't believe in reinventing the wheel; there's always a lesson online that I can tweak to my own specifications rather than reinventing a brand new lesson.
"It's time for everyone involved in education to put aside their own personal preferences for teaching and consider thelearning styles of these new students who have grown up in a radically different digital world. " (Jukes, 2010)
To view references used in this eMagazine, please download the PDF file.