p. 2 Teaching the iGeneration (Ferriter & Garry) iGeners – the term used to describe students born after the early 1990s – are easy to spot. They are continually plugged in, constantly texting, playing games on their Xboxes, viewing digital images, communicating instantaneously in various forms, and much more. While their parents may use the Internet to gather information, they use it to gather together.
However, there is a concern that although the minds of iGeners work fast, they may not think as deeply or as accurately as we would like. iGeners have been called ‘The dumbest generation’ and ‘infosnackers.’ They are intimidated by reading longer passages and are often bored in school. The content of the TV they watch and the games they play have caused adults to call them ‘intellectually bereft.’ Furthermore, the gap between the achievement of American students and their international peers continues to widen.
At the same time, teachers know that to be successful, students need to develop 21st century skills such as: thinking critically, persuading peers, and presenting information in an organized and convincing fashion. In fact, the Partnership for 21st Century Skillls – an organization of business and educational leaders that have outlined a powerful vision for 21st century education – has outlined three primary skills that students will need: 1. Creativity and innovation 2. Critical thinking and problem solving 3. Communication and collaboration Although these are presented as new skills for the new century, many argue that these higher-order thinking skills have been around since Bloom’s Taxonomy. Most educators are already familiar with these higher-order skills. The authors are not suggesting that educators completely change their classroom practices to make way for 21st century skills and digital tools. Rather, the goal of the book is to show educators how to use new digital tools to facilitate the type of authentic and higher-order learning that educators have promoted for decades.
Week 3 Task
• Students often feel bad about making mistakes. How can we help
students feel safe to take risks and make mistakes in the mathematics
• What is the iGeneration? What has changed in our classrooms in the
past 100 years?
• Should our classrooms focus on ‘just in time’ or ‘just in case’ learning?
What are examples of these? [contribute to class forum to answer
What do employers want?
• Persistence? Or spoon fed
• Communicator? Or isolated member
• Problem Solver? Or rules based
• Just in time, just in case or a combination approach?
• Thinking differently, not afraid to make mistakes?
• They have never known a life without the internet, let
alone computers, and many don’t know a world without
mobile phones. - Sarah Cornish, Total Girl magazine
• Net Generation, Generation Y, Generation Z, the Gen Nexters,
the Look-at-Me Generation, the Millennial Generation, the Echo
Generation, the ADHD Generation, or the iGeneration.
• iGeners - born after the early 1990s
• Parents may use the Internet to gather information, they use it to
•Minds of iGeners work fast,
but do they think deeply or
•‘The dumbest generation’
21st Century Skills
•Creativity and innovation
•Critical thinking and
• iGeners are almost universally plugged in
• See technology as a tool for participating
• Turn to the Internet first
• Willing to experiment. Emotionally open. Like working in teams
• Gamers. Social Networking.
• US Teenagers spend almost 325 minutes behind a screen
• Lag behind competing countries (Australia, US)
• 15-24 year olds spend under 9 minutes a day reading for any reason (Hess,
• Whatever their virtues, these minds know far too little, and they read and
write and calculate and reflect way too poorly. However many hours they
pass at the screen from age 11 to 25, however many blog comments they
compose, intricate games they play, videos they create, personal profiles they
craft, and gadgets they master, the transfer doesn’t happen. The Web grows,
and the young adult mind stalls. (Bauerlein, 2008, Kindle location 1683-1685
21st Century Learners
• Should we be teaching today’s students differently to in the past?
• What worked/didn’t work for me should work for them?
• Do as I say, not as I do?
• Completely engaged in challenging and authentic learning activities
• Self motivated, and self regulated learning
• Technology can help to create this environment. But the focus is
not on technology, but on engagement.
• These tools foster and facilitate active learning, and most of them
support and encourage collaborative learning.
• “Everything else has become so engaging. N-geners who go online
regularly to play video games or interact on MySpace expect better
experiences in the classroom. Look at today’s curriculum, though,
and you won’t find much interactivity. We’re still learning through
reading and regurgitating.” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, p. 51)
• Mirrors students’ innate desire for connection (interesting relevant
content & with other students)
• Collaborative learning can create an emotional connection.
Memories are much more likely to be recalled, and accuracy goes
• Can increase participation and interest
• Goes hand in hand with differentiation of instruction
• Maths. Geometry. Grades 4 & 5.
• Work on a team, as architects and builders, to
design a futuristic house that is aesthetically
appealing because of its geometrical design.
• Formative/summative assessments
• Lessons on design and home building
• Architect, foreman as invited guests
• How often do student-driven, problem centred
learning experiences happen in your classroom?
• We have a world full of problems (global warming,
poverty, depression, greed)
• How can we teach problem solving effectively in our
Types of Problems
• Jacob Getzels:
• Type 1 problems - easiest to solve. Problem is clear
to both presenter & solver 5 x 4 =
• Type 2 problems - method & answer are not
immediately apparent.“If Johnny has eight slices of
pizza and he sells each for $2, how much money will
• Type 3 - No clear correct answers. Presenters and
solvers might not know the method or the
• Real world problems usually require a team effort to
solve. Not individual experts.
• Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?
• In the course of the show, studio audiences picked
the right answer 91% of the time
• Which workplaces rely on collective wisdom to
solve type 3 problems?
• According to Surowiecki (The Wisdom of Crowds),
groups must be cognitively diverse, independent, and
decentralised in order to solve problems effectively.
Example: Best Buy
• Most companies rely on senior management teams
to establish vision, make decisions, give directions.
• Best Buy: 155,000 employees across fifty states and
five countries. How did they harness collective
wisdom to improve their company?
• Wikipedia is another example (285 languages, 25
million articles, 100,000 active contributors)