Sept. 8, 2008
Article Assessment I
Listen to the Natives
"Times have changes", declares Prensky in his article explaining the differences between the current day student and those of the past. Those who were not born into the digital world are referred to as digital immigrants. Because there is a memory of a non-digital world, these types of people are not able to move comfortably through the digital world. This leaves them in a cycle of playing catch up with newer technology.
Prensky refers to those born into the digital world as digital natives. This generation, being comfortable with technology, are able to navigate through the technical world, with little instruction. They are able to teach themselves through trial and error. They don't waist their time reading how-to books, they are engaged.
This difference in knowledge between teachers and students should lead us to demanding more teachers with empathy and guidance abilities than exclusively with subject knowledge. This would allow for many encouraging changes in the classrooms of today, and make school a more integrated part of the current day student's life.
- Shifting gears- We as educators need to be willing to leave our comfort zones and enter into the 21st century. This would mean including students in designing instruction, and encouraging students to make good decisions.
- Student Engagement- If we create classrooms that include the digital technologies that students spend time with at home, students will be more motivated in their classrooms.
- Collaborating with Students- Students who are fluent in the language of technology can become a great resource for teachers, and can be useful to the creation of curriculum that includes digital technology.
- Flexible Organization- The current way of grouping kids into learning groups is refered to as herding, a student's involuntary assignment to specific classes or groups.
- Digital Tools- Tools that are traditionally thought of a taboo in the classroom could be used in a useful way. One for example is the cell phone. With the use of the camera/video abilities of today's cell phones, students could post assignment, and create narratives.
- Programming- This can be used in the form of downloading, doing Google searches, of handing in homework via Flash programs.