21st Century Learners


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21st century learners differ from students who at one time learned effectively from traditional instruction.

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  • Great summary and awesome information! I find the 'tikatok' technique interesting and extremely rewarding for children. Additionally, 'tikatok' enables a child to print their masterpiece, of which a child creates with the assistance of Web 2.0 tools concluding with encouragement of confidence and individuality.
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  • Interesting I wonder if you see Web 2.0 tools taking the place of more traditional classroom technologies?
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21st Century Learners

  1. 1. 21st Century Learners by Veronica Rodriguez and Theresa De Hoyos University of Texas at San Antonio July 14, 2009
  2. 2. Goal The goal of this brief is to provide educators with useful and applicable information for 21st Century Learners in grade levels 4 – 12.
  3. 3. New Learners • The following are labels used to identify “new” learners: generation Y, net generation or net geners, loophole generation, helicopter generation, and digital natives. • The reason for the names is that they target and identify the new way today’s students learn, their exposure to or experience with technology at a very young age, and their actions toward technology.
  4. 4. Generation Y • Eric Chester refers to 21st century learners as “Generation Y” primarily because they are skeptical and ask "Why?" • These learners have grown up in a media saturated environment and have become desensitized and critical. • They find it easy to multi-task and want to be a part of the experience that new emerging technology brings while craving the limelight for their efforts.
  5. 5. Net Generation or Net Geners • Barnes, Marateo, and Ferris refer to 21st century learners as the “Net Generation” or “Net Geners” because these learners are “net savvy” from their exposure to and experience with digital and cyber technologies. • By the time a Net Gener reaches 21, he or she will have spent : 10,000 hours playing video games, 200,000 e-mails, 20,000 hours watching TV, 10,000 hours on cell phones, and under 5,000 hours reading (Bonamici et al. 2005).
  6. 6. Loophole Generation • Summerville and Fischetti refer to new learners as the “Loophole Generation” because they spend their time and energy looking for ways to negotiate their online assignments. This is “… influenced by the ease of online communication, hovering parents, a limited sense of intellectual curiosity, and a lack of experience in solving problems imaginatively.” • The hovering parents have made way for yet another term to replace “millennials” (those born before 1980). The term “Helicopter Generation” refers to learners whose parents hover and participate in their student’s learning.
  7. 7. Digital Natives • Marc Prensky calls the “new” students of today “Digital Natives” because he believes they are all “native speakers” of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet. • He also believes that everyone else prior to this new generation of learners are “Digital Immigrants” because they were not born into the digital world but have at some point within their lives become fascinated and adopted many of the aspects of the new technology. • Prensky's naming of these two different types of generations is very interesting as it relates to education. He describes how the digital natives often feel like their teachers are immigrants, with heavy accents and unintelligible because they can not understand their lectures and bland concepts.
  8. 8. Generation Y • There are unique characteristics of the Generation Y that have implications for teaching and learning. – Generation Y (or Generation Why?) are future-oriented and trend- setters. – Generation Y is skeptical and demands honesty, integrity, and verification. – Generation Y is numb to the over-whelming technological stimuli. – Generation Y wants to experience learning. – Generation Y requires teachers to learn about rapidly advancing technology and then using it to demonstrate and present their lessons. – Generation Y wants to be recognized and rewarded with what they value. (Chester & Friedmann, n.d.)
  9. 9. Net Geners • There are unique characteristics of the Net Geners that have implications for teaching and learning. – Net Geners are very oriented towards education and want to learn. – Net Geners are assertive in the way they search for information and learn and are aware of learning techniques that help them learn best. – Net Geners prefer more than one type of communication for learning and expression. – Net Geners have an “…independent learning style that has grown out of the ingrained habits of seeking and retrieving information from the Internet...” that provides instant results. – Net Geners’ net savviness can interfere with learning because students will text, surf the net, play games during classroom instruction. – Net Geners prefer conversation over lectures and learn by doing; therefore, teachers’ should modify their lessons to include discussions and hands-on assignments. (Barnes, Marateo, & Ferris, 2007)
  10. 10. Loophole & Helicopter Generation • There are unique characteristics of the Loophole Generation and Helicopter Generation that have implications for teaching and learning. – The Loophole Generation does not effectively channel their time and energy to learning. They would rather spend their time on “… exploiting gaps in class policies or assignments—sometimes spending more time than would be necessary to complete a particular project in the first place.” – The Loophole Generation consists of four types: excuse maker, the bully, the cheater, and the plagiarizer. – The Loophole Generation sees no harm in casual borrowing: plagiarism is an issue brought about by the ease of accessing another person’s work from the internet. – The Helicopter Generation receives more attention and participation from parents in their school work that can interfere with their learning and performance. (Summerville & Fischetti, 2007)
  11. 11. Digital Natives • There are unique characteristics of the Digital Natives that have implications for teaching and learning. – Digital Natives have their own language composed with a technological vocabulary. – Digital Natives do not relate to or understanding traditional educator’s tools and perspectives. – Digital Natives biggest obstacle is that today's teachers are speaking a pre-digital age language that the students are not in tune with. – It is crucial for today's teacher to learn and use technology to meet the students’ needs and to make learning relevant. (Prensky, 2001)
  12. 12. Web 2.0 Tools • Web 2.0 tools support the "new" learner by providing platforms for communicating, collaborating, creating, presenting, and sharing. • Web 2.0 tools entice today’s learner with the power to: generate, produce, own, interact and socially construct, as well as control over the openness and collectiveness of use and information, which make these tools extremely user centered.
  13. 13. Design and Development • If Web 2.0 tools facilitate learning for this new generation of students, the implications for learning and teaching also rests on the design and development of Web 2.0 tools while incorporating the capabilities that the new learner appreciates. • The three primary design and development principles that make Web 2.0 more effective are: 1. Keep it simple 2. Make it social 3. Offer alternate navigation
  14. 14. Examples of Web 2.0 Tools That Appeal to New Learners: • Introduce material to gain attention/limelight: – Voicethread offers a platform to publish and a forum for discussion. • Present material for expressing, illustrating, and demonstrating: – Joggle allows the learner to create slideshows with audio to further explain their understanding and demonstrate their net savviness.
  15. 15. Examples of Web 2.0 Tools, continued • Support the learner and process material: – Skrbl is an online whiteboard suitable for comparing, contrasting, collecting as well and inquiring because learners can write, share and compare their documents. • Assist the learner in constructing knowledge: – Whyville is a social networking tool that would appeal to new learners because of the fun and informal environment in which learners gather to create, collaborate and discuss various topics. It encourages learners to contribute their own ideas and opinions as opposed to searching and “borrowing”.
  16. 16. Examples of Web 2.0 Tools, continued • Demonstrate learning: – Tikatok is ideal for constructing, illustrating and explaining. It allows children to create storybooks to share and print as a real book. Story prompts help guide the process. • Create New Knowledge: – Yoursphere is a blogging tool that is ideal for collaborating, building consensus, negotiating and sharing.
  17. 17. Summary The new generation of learners, in spite of what they are labeled, all share common learning styles from their exposure to and experience with technology. 21st Century learners do not respond to traditional instruction and require their learning needs be met in a variety of ways that use technological tools in the learning process. As a result, there are many Web 2.0 tools that are designed and developed to address the need to change instruction for this new population of learners.
  18. 18. Comments We would greatly appreciate your comments in reference to 21st Century learners. We welcome you to share Web 2.0 tools that you have found to be effective in your classroom. Please post your comments and feedback in the comment box below. - Veronica and Terry
  19. 19. References Barnes, K., Marateo, R. C., & Ferris, S. P. (2007). Teaching and Learning with the Net Generation. Innovate Journal of Online Education, 3(4). Chester, E., & Friedmann, S. A. (n.d.). Generation Y: What Exhibitors Must Know About this Group Retrieved July 14, 2009, from http://www.generationwhy.com/articles-and- information/generation-y-and-trade-shows.html Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon, 9(5). Summerville, J., & Fischetti, J. (2007). The Loophole Generation. Innovate Journal of Online Education, 4(2).
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