On October 23rd, 2014, we updated our
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“ I’ve coined the term digital native to refer to today's
students (2001). They are native speakers of technology,
fluent in the digital language of computers, video games,
and the Internet. I refer to those of us who were not born
into the digital world as digital immigrants . We have
adopted many aspects of the technology, but just like
those who learn another language later in life, we retain
an "accent" because we still have one foot in the past.
We will read a manual, for example, to understand a
program before we think to let the program teach itself.
Our accent from the predigital world often makes it difficult
for us to effectively communicate with our students.“
(Prensky, “Listen to the Natives” 9).
Meet the 21 st Century Family… John – Baby Boomer Digital Immigrant Pam – Baby Boomer Digital Immigrant Alex – Gen Y Digital Native Abby – Gen Y Digital Native Givi – Gen Y Digital Native Geoff – Gen Y Digital Native The 21 st century homeplace
I sent and received over 4300 text messages last month Family Member Uses for technology Favorite tools Wow moment John immigrant Work (word processing, desktop publishing, email); Pleasure (music, communication) iPod, mobile phone, desktop computer “ I can fit my entire collection of record albums on my iPod. We’re talking hundreds of albums.” Pam immigrant Work (word processing, desktop publishing, email); Social Networking Facebook, Twitter, Live Journal, Skype I don’t have the skill of multitasking. My kids remind me quite often. Alex native Everything! Ebooks, school, Social Networking, Around Me (GPS), Podcasts of favorite radio shows *iPhone, netbook, World of Warcraft online gaming Alex manages an online gaming guild with 123 members from across the East coast. Abby native Communication, school Skype and VOIP phone service; Facebook Abby was able to take the family on a tour of her new home, 9000 miles away in Oceania. Givi native Ebooks, entertainment (movies and TV), digital art, word processing, school iPod, laptop, Wacom Bamboo tablet Nothing about technology surprises her. “I have high expectations, but I’m not wowed by the tools.” Geoff native Communication, Online Gaming Mobile phone for texting, Turtle Beach wireless headset for Xbox, Xbox live “ I can play Modern Warfare II with kids from across the globe. Plus, I can play games with Robert [his brother-in-law in Guam] on my team.”
A conversation between a digital Immigrant and a digital native
Me: What is your favorite technology?
Alex: I’d have to say pencil and paper, and the remote control.
Me: (no words, puzzled look…)
Alex: Technology by definition is anything that makes life easier.
Proof positive that we do not think about things the same way…
Oh… and you thought I was exaggerating? 4346 text msgs + 53 mm msgs 4399 messages Geoff’s phone usage summary for one month
Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants Digital Learners Digital Immigrants
Have no memory of life before the internet
Have grown up with computers, the Internet, mobile phones, video games, and mp3 players
“ They are web savvy multitaskers, able watch TV, surf the web, listen to music, and talk or text on their phones, often performing several of these things at the same time.” (Perez).
Have learned to use technologies as they have been introduced
Share a skepticism of the value and necessity of the technology. They look at the technologies as gadgets – more as amusements than tools.
Have an accent – that is, “they maintain one foot in the past while stepping into the present.” (Prensky, “Listen to the Natives 9).
What types of learners do you know?
Scroll through the phone book on your mobile phone. Choose one person to be your subject.
Write a description of how you think this person uses technology.
Bonus points: quote your subject using words from an archived text message.
Learn to be concise…
Now, condense your description. Write it Twitter-style. You are limited to 140 characters.
How can you use Twitter in your classroom? Announce good news Reminders for assignments Technology tips/homework hints
What does this digital divide have to do with us as teachers?
“ As educators, we must take our cues from our students‘ 21st century innovations and behaviors, abandoning, in many cases, our own predigital instincts and comfort zones. Teachers must practice putting engagement before content when teaching. They need to laugh at their own digital immigrant accents, pay attention to how their students learn, and value and honor what their students know.” (Prensky, “Listen to the Natives” 10)
Is there a better way to engage students than to allow them to learn while using the tools they know best?
So, we ask the experts the hard questions…
What do you think about the restrictions we place on cell phones, iPods, and other handhelds at school?
How do we ensure that taboo technologies are used for academic purposes?
Do messaging media cause students to become careless writers?
“What I don’t get is how you want us to be resourceful and find out things for ourselves, but then you won’t let us use the stuff we know best to get those answers.”
Eighth grader Scott B. on using taboo technologies in the classroom
“When I was in kindergarten, I poked Scott really hard with a pencil…once. I quickly learned not to use that pencil like that again. If teachers teach kids how to use the tools the right way from the beginning, there won’t be a problem.”
Eighth grader Lily B. on using taboo technologies in the classroom.
Note to self:
Students should know how to write emails for various audiences, the rules for writing and responding to blogs, and expectations for using web-based devices.
“ We don’t have a problem switching genres. It is just like they way we behave differently with our grandparents than we do with our friends. I know the difference between SMS and SEAE. Sure, sometimes I might slip up and spell your with two letters, but that is because I am in a hurry… or maybe just because I know it will get on a teacher’s nerves.”
Eighth grader Madison S. on if all of this texting is having a negative impact on writing skills.
What (academic task) can you do with a(n)… You have two minutes… Cell phone iPod or other handheld (PSP, Nintendo DSi, etc.) Social Networking Site (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace)
“ From computers to calculators to MP3 players to camera phones, these tools are like extensions of their brains. Educating or evaluating students without these tools makes no more sense to them than educating or evaluating a plumber without his or her
wrench.” (Prensky, “Listen to the Natives” 12).
“… the digital environment builds on the interests and needs of students. With ready access to computers and a wide range of mobile devices, many students already are familiar with available technology tools and use them all the time, particularly for entertainment purposes.” (Dessoff 40).
What (academic task) can you do with a(n)… Cell phone iPod or other handheld (PSP, Nintendo DSi, etc.) Social Networking Site (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace)
Text message... notes,
directions, links to websites
Google for answers, maps, or images
Look up words
Watch video clips
Film videos, take pictures, send pictures and videos to friends or teachers
Store pictures and video
Quick research on Wikipedia, Encarta, or World Book
Look up current events
Find locations (GPS)
Network with people from around the globe
Practice communication skills
Calculate (calculator app)
2-12 in cell phone list (see left column)
Transport files (like a flash drive)
1,4,6,9 , 11, and 12 in cell phone list (see left column)
Send or save longer text selections (Facebook, My Space) or shorter ones (Twitter)
Establish/maintain a family history
What do we need to do as teachers?
Give students the opportunity to use technology In school.
Find out how students want to be taught
Connect students to the world.
Understand where kids are going—that is, into the future—and help them get there.
(Prensky, “Turning on the Lights ” 45).
“ Our schools should be teaching kids how to program, filter knowledge, and maximize the features and connectivity of their tools.” (Prensky, “Listen to the Natives” 13).
Let’s try thinking like digital natives…
Using your cell phone…
Give me a synonym for each highlighted word. Bonus points to anyone who can explain how knowledge of word parts or related words could increase understanding.
“ Pragmatically , our 21st century kids‘ education is quickly bifurcating . The formal half, "school," is becoming an increasingly moribund and irrelevant institution.” (Prensky , “Listen to the Natives”13).
Using your cell phone…
Tell us what made the headlines of the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today.
Using your cell phone… What made the headlines in France, Kenya, and Japan? http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/news.html
5-minute Quick Write
Think about the headlines from the various papers. Which of these issues is of greatest concern to you? Why? Write about it.
Bonus points: Send your response as an email to a classmate and Cc: the teacher.
Using your cell phone…
Go to this news site: http://www.theonion.com/
Would you use this site for your research paper? Why or why not?
What concerns do you have about living in the information age? Are you ever fearful that you will be misled or misinformed?
Your ticket out the door:
Receive a text message summarizing the needs of digital learners. Show it to the teacher.
Using your cell or iPod as a camera Use pictures as story starters or as a part of the publication process with a memoir.
Using your cell or iPod as a camera
Create videos … digital postcards screen plays or skits public service announcements advertisements
PhotoStories major motion pictures
Review Your Poetic Devices
Scroll through your iPod (or choose a ring tone from your phone).
Transcribe the first stanza of the song you chose.
If you are not in agreement on the words, look them up using your mobile device.
Identify and label poetic devices present in the stanza.
In your song lyrics, do the following:
Underline examples of imagery.
Circle uses of figurative language (simile, metaphor, personification, onomatopoeia, etc.)
Identify the rhyme scheme, if one is present.
Characterize the piece. Examine the number of lines in the piece and the style of the piece. (For example, is it a ballad written in quatrains ?)
What can you tell you us about meter?
“ American Girl” by Tom Petty
Well she was an American girl Raised on promises She couldn't help thinkin' that there Was a little more to life Somewhere else After all it was a great big world With lots of places to run to Yeah, and if she had to die Tryin' she Had one little promise she was gonna keep
Enter your song lyrics into www.wordle.net and show us your product.
Follow up activity: Shoot a music video of your song and edit in annotations about the use of poetic devices.
Other ideas for using iPods and cell phones for writing
Use a text message as a story starter.
Practice writing dialogue by transcribing text messages between you and someone else. Move from SMS to SEAE, and use proper punctuation strategies.
Write a parody of one of your songs.
Take the first (or last) word in each line of a song and use them to create a new poem.
Take the first word of each song in your playlist and use them in a piece of writing – poetry or prose.
Create a piece where the dialogue between your characters is derived from lines in a song.
What about social networking sites? Do they have educational value?
Use them for posting reminders
Use them as homework help networks
(Hey, can anybody explain #4 on the math homework to me? If so, text me. Thanks!)
Use them to stir up trouble. (see “The Saga of Martin Gecko”)
Who is listening?
From www.rockdalecitizen.com on May 3, 2010
CONYERS — Some Rockdale County classes are getting new language textbooks next school year, but officials at Rockdale County Public Schools are still watching the budget.
The Rockdale County Board of Education unanimously approved last week the adoption of three textbooks for middle and high school students. The item was part of a consent agenda during the board’s regular monthly meeting. Board member Jeff Dugan was absent from the meeting.
RCPS Superintendent Samuel King said the $506,358 textbooks are the only ones the board will approve this year, which is less than what it normally is presented, as RCPS officials expect a drop in revenue next school year. He added that these texts are needed for students, as, unlike the current books, they are in line with the new Georgia Performance Standards curriculum.
… This textbook adoption could be one of the last for the school board. King said he and his cabinet members are in discussions about how to phase out textbooks and instead use ebooks, which are used online and on computers.
“ Not tomorrow,” King said, adding that this process could take some time and the costs would need to be considered. “That’s the norm now. You know how quickly information changes. There are some huge potential benefits.”
From www.rockdalecitizen.com on June 16, 2010
CONYERS — Officials at Rockdale County Public Schools have changed the Student Behavior Code to include more sanctions for inappropriate cell phone usage at schools, and more changes could come later.
At the Rockdale County Board of Education work session last week, Garrett Brundage, executive director of Support Services at RCPS, informed the board of he updated code to include rules and regulations regarding cyber bullying and using cell phones to spread obscene actions.
Brundage said students have been known to send inappropriate text messages and pictures using cell phones, and schools also have experienced bullying
over the Internet and with cell phones.“That created a need for us as a school system to respond,” he said.
Gene Baker, assistant superintendent in the Office of School Improvement at RCPS, said students have access to computers in all of the schools but software blocks many sites that cause such problems.“But that doesn’t prevent it,” he said.
Brundage and RCPS Superintendent Samuel King told board members that students are allowed to bring their cell phones inside the school building, but they must be off during the school day and stored in their backpacks or lockers. That could change in the future, King said.
“ This is the first step to update our regulation,” he said.
School board member Darlene Hotchkiss said she appreciated RCPS officials for reviewing policies like this from time to time.“Doing something like this
gives us the opportunity to look ahead and not necessarily let us be caught in the middle,” she said.
Who is talking about it?
Popular blogs like ReadWriteWeb .
Popular magazines like Newsweek .
Education consortiums like the Southern Regional Education Board . They say that use of technology for learning is a key practice for improving student achievement.
“ Provide opportunities for middle grades students and teachers to explore and use technology, such as word processing, electronic presentations and Web design skills, for improving knowledge and skills in English/language arts, reading, mathematics, science, social studies, and exploratory courses through the use of research-based instructional practices.” (SREB, “Making Middle Grades Work”).
Who is still not listening?
The Partnership for 21 st Century Skills advocates the teaching of three Rs and four Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, communication and creativity and innovation).
They support the development of the Common Core State Standards and have partnered with 14 states to fuse the 21 st century skills with the CCSS. Unfortunately, Georgia is not one of these fourteen states.
One final question…
Have you been paying attention?
Dessoff, Alan. “ Reteaching Digital Natives on Their Terms.” District Administration . 46.4. (2010): 36-42. Web. 20 June 2010.
Patten, Kathryn and Dorothy Valcarcel Craig. “iPods and English-language learners : a great combination.” Teacher Librarian. 34.5. (2007): 40-44. Academic Search Complete . Web. 21 June 2010.
Prensky, Marc. “Listen to the Natives.” Educational Leadership . 63.4. (2005-2006): 8-13. Web. 16 June 2010.
Prensky, Marc. “Turning on the Lights.” Educational Leadership. 65.6. (2008): 40-45. Web. 18 June 2010.