Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Teaching the Digital Generation

S. Kelly, Frank, McCain, Ted, Jukes, Ian (2009). Teaching the Digital Generation. Corwin Press


The section of this book that I was drawn to for this submission was the second chapter of Part 1, titled Changing the Process of Designing Schools. What strikes me about this chapter is that there are clear conclusions about how schools should be designed to accommodate today’s students. Many of the conclusions are assumptions derived from the concept that as we realize technological and societal progress, the expectations and behaviors of students within a classroom are influenced and altered. As such, it is reasonable to meet these expectations through an understanding of how the dynamics of our current state are expressed in a school, as well as how we can utilize advancements to better connect with and educate students.

The section details specific shortcomings that are evident to our current or traditional approach, and project a logical direction for establishing the educational constructs of tomorrow. There are many strong points made, and most of which conflict or differ from what is commonly accepted practice. In reading through each excerpt, I could not help but wonder about the connection between advancement and practice, and how it can be maintained. If a large educational facility is built, then how may it be able to adapt to the changes that surely will come? What teaching practices are timeless, and need only to be supported by new technology, rather than be discarded? I am anxious to continue reading and wondering.


1. 1. Learning must reflect the new digital reality. Instructional approaches must incorporate the latest technological tools to maximize the learning experience for students. In the very near future, online technology coupled with artificially intelligent software will transform the learning environment with powerful tools for discovery learning. Teachers must use the latest digital tools for engaging students in the task of learning.”

2. 2. Learning must engage 21st-centure digital kids. Digital kids learn differently and have different learning preferences and styles than young people from previous generations. Traditional approaches to instruction are tolerable for digital kids, at best. At worst, they are tedious, boring, and counterproductive. New schools must look at the digital learning preferences of modern students and develop instructional approaches that incorporate digital, online, multimedia experiences into learning activities and resources.”

3. 3. “The configuration of spaces within the school building must be highly flexible. …new instructional technology will change the when, where, and how students access educational services. Given the accelerating pace of change in virtually every aspect of our society, it is probable that any high school built today will need to be modified substantially multiple times over its life to support evolving learning needs.”


Stacey Caillier said...

Great annotation Andrew! The quotes you have here are particularly meaty and I imagine will be useful to you down the line. I'd love to hear more about how you personally connected to this chapter - what did it make you think about in your own practice? Also, it's good to get in the habit of noting page numbers for all quotes - that way, you can find them later (and you'll want to when you start your Understandings!)

Charlie L. said...

Oh wow, Andrew! The questions and wonderings you have really have kick-started my thinking about the "future teacher". I think your question: "What teaching practices are timeless, and need only to be supported by new technology, rather than be discarded? " is a very important and relevant thing to think about. Often times I think people know their students are changing over the years, but do not adapt and adjust to those changes. You are right that we should find what teaching practices are timeless vs ones that should be discarded.

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