Chapter 2 students and learning

Karen Bauer
Web 2.0 – New Tools, New Schools
Chapter 2 Summary & Thoughts

The Big Idea
Marc Prensky coins our students as digital “natives”, while we, as adults and educators are digital “immigrants”. He believes that our students:
- aren’t the people our educations system is designed to instruct
- have changed radically, not in incrementally
- are the first generations to have technology at their fingertips
- think and process information differently
- are all digital “natives”

How are students using technology?
- Americans age 13-24 now spend more time online than watching tv (Sloan & Kaihla, 2006).
- 70% of YouTube registered users are American, 50% of those users are under 20.
- Preschool are one of the fastest growing groups online (Corporation for Public Broadcasting, 2003).
- NetDay Speak Up Survey (Project Tomorrow, 2006) found that 6th grade is the tipping point for student enthusiasm towards technology. A graphic display of data comparing student age groups to teacher use of certain technologies puts kids using it more in every way but laptop or desktop computers.
- Pew Internet & American Life Project (Levin & Arafeh, 2002) – “For the most part, students’ use of the Web occurs outside of the school day. Many schools and teachers have not yet recognized – much less responded to – the new ways students communicate and access information over the Internet”.
- Our students customize their Internet and technology experiences – we aren’t allowing this in schools.

How do we teach these “digital natives”?
- Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001) created a 2 dimensional version of Bloom’s Taxonomy – it is meant to bend with how we are retaining and now gathering information. A comparison (from top to bottom) is represented below:

Bloom’s Taxonomy -------- Revised Taxonomy
Evaluation ---------------------------Creating
Synthesis -----------------------------Evaluating
Analysis --------------------------------Analyzing
Application ------------------------------Applying
Comprehension --------------------Understanding
Knowledge -------------------------Remembering

- Constructivism – Rather than providing didactic instruction, ask students to see what they already know, find out more about it, collaborate and solve a realistic problem. This is conveniently accomplished using new technologies.

- Project-based learning – students should use technology meaningfully while engaging in a group that is allowed to manage its own tasks and seeks expert (or teacher) guidance while trying to create a product or solve a problem.

- Connectivism (Siemens’, 2004) “The capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known; nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning…”

How is my district supporting this?
- While technology is encouraged within my district, access to many of these interactive technologies is limited due to Internet filter obstruction. My district appears concerned that opening one of these technologies means opening them all – thus, they are sitting on them until schools move forward or teachers win a conversation of which technologies should be utilized.

What is to be desired in this Chapter?
- This chapter is great for identifying our students’ technology use based on research. Many of the statistics are great for future technology elevator speeches. However, while the chapter addresses the issues of how our schools are not meeting our students’ needs, they aren’t discussing why these technologies are not being used. Very often, it is due to liability, issues of student privacy, and lack of user control. A struggle exists and this chapter seems to state that schools just aren’t “getting it”. This isn’t necessarily the case. Instead, schools hope to protect their students from the technologies that could possibly harm them. There is a lot to be said for teaching digital responsibility, ethics and citizenship before these technologies are feasibly used.

What does this chapter mean to me as a technology leader?
- We need to teach our students how use technology responsibly. Once we are assured we have done this, we can open up technologies that our districts might fear. If as reported, 6th grade is the tipping point for student interest in technology, we need to prepare them early on how to be outstanding digital citizens. This chapter highlights how our students are using technology on their own so, our teaching should reflect and build upon their independent use of technology.