Immigrating to a Society of Digital Learners By: Melissa Herring Aisha Shepard Christina Flores Katie Alaniz
Prensky’s Notions Natives Immigrants Immigrants rely on step-by-step, simple information retrieval and presentations. Today, teachers are the immigrants. Students are the natives. • Natives are fast paced, and have the ability to multi-task with ease. • Natives thrive on instant gratification and frequent rewards.
Prensky’s Notions • Students are inundated with information being presented through technology. Rarely do they have to rely on “old-fashioned” reading. • The brain is constantly being reorganized and craves interactivity which is an immediate response to their each and every action. • Digital Natives choose not to pay attention because information is being presented to them in traditional ways.
Prensky’s Notions Traditional Views New Neuroplasticity: the brain is constantly being reorganized. Malleability: the brain has the ability to change. • Brain is static and unable to change. • The same basic processes underlie all human thought.
“Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants: Some Thoughts from the Generation Gap” • Timothy VanSlyke disagrees with Prensky’s belief that different kinds of experiences lead to different brain structures, but that these experiences may lead to different thinking patterns amongst immigrants and natives. • He believes that we may be doing natives a disservice by de-emphasizing “legacy” content which still contains vital educational skills.
“Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants: Some Thoughts from the Generation Gap” • VanSlyke questions concepts of all students fitting into the Digital Natives definition and compares research that disputes Prensky’s theory. • He believes the computer is a medium, the learner, and teacher are the mediators.
“Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants: Some Thoughts from the Generation Gap” • VanSlyke agrees that students are changing, and that computers play a great role in education; however, he disagrees with Prensky’s idea that Digital Immigrants must learn to speak the native language in order to be effective teachers. • Immigrants should learn about Digital Native culture as well as aim to improve students’ ability to engage in higher-order thinking. • He is in favor of creating better tools for teachers, then helping teachers to become better users of the tools.
“No More Tech for Tech’s Sake” • Rick Cave’s article contains many points of agreement, along with several caveats, regarding Marc Prensky’s Digital Native philosophies. • To support his points, Cave uses evidence he has gathered from various schools, as well as citations from other researchers.
“No More Tech for Tech’s Sake” • The Advantages of Technology-Rich Classrooms: Cave argues that if used effectively, technology can make a more significant impact upon today’s tech savvy learners than traditional ways of teaching. • “To succeed in today’s connected world, we all need to understand technology, and develop habits and methodologies that that utilize its strengths.” • If school leaders choose “information consumption” as a learning focus, as opposed to retention, “technology will be an important tool in their teacher’s bag of tricks.”
“No More Tech for Tech’s Sake” • The Disadvantages of Technology-Rich Classrooms: Because many initiatives are specifically designed to heighten students’ access to technology, a district can “achieve its goal without actually improving student learning.” • Traditional assessments have not established a link between technology implementation and student achievement. • “Access to technology should not be the goal; improving teaching and learning should be.”
“Connecting Informal and Formal Learning Experience in the Age of Participatory Media” • Classrooms today are struggling with relating students’ formal, “in-school” learning with their experiential learning. • The authors suggest that we use participatory media to connect these experiences which foster learning. • They agree that Prensky’s definitions of today’s learner need to be addressed and that teaching methods must be modified. • The use of this media is a springboard for social interactions both in and out of the classroom. • They promote digital video as a starting point to get Gen-Y teacher education students to use this medium in their classrooms.
“Laptops for a Digital Lifestyle: Millennial Students and Wireless Mobile Technologies” • The millennial generation (students born in or after 1982) has been exposed to technology the majority of their life. • They stay connected using SMS, cell phones, email, and chat rooms while playing online games, listening to music and watching television. • Students have ZERO tolerance for delays and adapt to a new activity quickly with little to no delay. • Universities are predicted to: • support wireless devices • provide wireless internet on campus • have multipurpose learning spaces (instead of computer labs), and • develop immersive virtual learning environments and communities.
“Laptops for a Digital Lifestyle: Millennial Students and Wireless Mobile Technologies” • Laptop Pilot Project • Performed at Edith Cowan University over 2 semesters • 100 laptops given to undergraduate Digital Media students for use in and out of class • Used to see how the millennial generation used laptops at work, for studying, and in their social lives • Data collected: • Through surveys • Student descriptions of use through a weblog • Students commented on changes to their lives due to study
“Laptops for a Digital Lifestyle: Millennial Students and Wireless Mobile Technologies” Positives Negatives “My sister thinks I’m a snob when I bring it to places to do work” (McMahon, Pospisil, 426). They made students “lazy.” When computer would fail, students would complain strongly… emphasizing their need for immediacy. Teachers had difficulty integrating the laptops into the teaching and learning programs. • Laptops fulfilled their need for immediacy. • They could use them for “everything.” • “I have noticed I am a lot less stressed with more free time on my hands. I also produce material of higher quality as I can make changes to stuff when I see fit” (McMahon, Pospisil 429).
Are we reaching today’s students appropriately? A Vision of Students Today
Reference Page • Bull, G., Thompson, A., Searson, M., Garofalo, J., Park, J., Young, C., & Lee, J (2008). Connecting Informal and Formal Learning: Experiences in the Age of Participatory Media. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 8(2). • Timothy VanSlyke (2003, May/June). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants: Some Thoughts from the Generation Gap. The Technology Source (http://ts.mivu.org/). • Rick Cave. (2009, February). No More Tech for Tech's Sake. Scholastic Administr@tor, 8(5), 24,26. Retrieved June 15, 2009, from ProQuest Central database. (Document ID: 1648457731). • McMahon, M., Pospisil, R. (2005). Laptops for a Digital Lifestyle: Millennial Students and Wireless Mobile Technologies. Retrieved from: http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/brisbane05/blogs/ proceedings/49_McMahon%20&%20Pospisil.pdf.