WEB2.0: Preparing students for their world not ours.


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This presentation is based on a paper presented at the 5th Annual IIE Celebration of Teaching and Learning Academic Conference (Cape Town):
Exploring New Learning Spaces

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  • Our students are called by many different names, “Net generation Digital Natives or Millenials” (Jones, Ramanau, Cross & Healing, 2010: 723), I call them the Web2.0 students, but in the end it does not matter, they are merely ourstudents and we need to reach (teach) them. This paper aims to explore the need for a new learning space for our “digital natives” (Prensky, 2001: 1) which is suited to the 21st century and the technology our students interacts with daily. From experience, I have seen that many educators, me included, embrace an older, more traditional style of teaching because it works. The question this paper asks is; does it work for us, as lecturers, or does it work for them, as students? John Thompson frames the question in a similar fashion: “Is Education 1.0 ready for Web2.0 students?” (Jones et al, 2010: 722).
  • From: Teaching with technologies, Myths and Realities by Barry DahlLake Superior College (http://www.slideshare.net/barrydahl/teaching-wtechnology-myths-elgincc-2009)
  • From: Teaching with technologies, Myths and Realities by Barry DahlLake Superior College (http://www.slideshare.net/barrydahl/teaching-wtechnology-myths-elgincc-2009)
  • From: Teaching with technologies, Myths and Realities by Barry DahlLake Superior College (http://www.slideshare.net/barrydahl/teaching-wtechnology-myths-elgincc-2009)
  • From: Teaching with technologies, Myths and Realities by Barry DahlLake Superior College (http://www.slideshare.net/barrydahl/teaching-wtechnology-myths-elgincc-2009)
  • From: Teaching with technologies, Myths and Realities by Barry DahlLake Superior College (http://www.slideshare.net/barrydahl/teaching-wtechnology-myths-elgincc-2009)
  • From: Teaching with technologies, Myths and Realities by Barry DahlLake Superior College (http://www.slideshare.net/barrydahl/teaching-wtechnology-myths-elgincc-2009)
  • From: Teaching with technologies, Myths and Realities by Barry DahlLake Superior College (http://www.slideshare.net/barrydahl/teaching-wtechnology-myths-elgincc-2009)
  • From: Teaching with technologies, Myths and Realities by Barry DahlLake Superior College (http://www.slideshare.net/barrydahl/teaching-wtechnology-myths-elgincc-2009)
  • From: Teaching with technologies, Myths and Realities by Barry DahlLake Superior College (http://www.slideshare.net/barrydahl/teaching-wtechnology-myths-elgincc-2009)
  • From: Teaching with technologies, Myths and Realities by Barry DahlLake Superior College (http://www.slideshare.net/barrydahl/teaching-wtechnology-myths-elgincc-2009)
  • From: Teaching with technologies, Myths and Realities by Barry DahlLake Superior College (http://www.slideshare.net/barrydahl/teaching-wtechnology-myths-elgincc-2009)
  • From: Teaching with technologies, Myths and Realities by Barry DahlLake Superior College (http://www.slideshare.net/barrydahl/teaching-wtechnology-myths-elgincc-2009)
  • From: Teaching with technologies, Myths and Realities by Barry DahlLake Superior College (http://www.slideshare.net/barrydahl/teaching-wtechnology-myths-elgincc-2009)
  • Education 1.0 is generally associated with the “digital immigrant” and Web2.0 students are characterized as “digital natives”. These labels were coined by Marc Prensy who states that the digital natives “are native speakers of technology, fluent in the digital language of computers, video games, and the internet. [He] refers to 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” (2005: 8). In an attempt to incorporate technology in my classroom I often shied away from the notion because I was not comfortable with it or I was afraid to look like an armature when I am supposed to be the expert in the class room. I had to realise that when it comes to technology I am not the expert and that I should “listen to the natives”. The consequence is a classroom where Education1.0 and Web2.0 seems to coexist peacefully, for now. Enter blended learning, the “combination of face-to-face and online learning” (Wheeler, 2008:7).
  • The phrase “shift happens” is synonymous with Did You Know? a presentation licenced to Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod and XPLANE under Creative Commons Attribution and Non-Commercial Share-Alike Licence (shifthappends, 2012). This presentation has its roots as a PowerPoint presentation shown at a faculty meeting and (expectantly) went viral. It focuses on the power of technology and how social media and networking has revolutionised the way we communicate and interact with the world around us.
  • ploaded by SMARTEduEMEA on Oct 3, 2011A quick look at how advancements in technology have impacted teaching and learning over timehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFwWWsz_X9s
  • This very notion in elaborated on by McLuhan who states that “our collective culture is moulded primarily by communication technologies and by the technologies that are embraced. To elaborate, McLuhan constructed three simple points: First, inventions in communication technology cause cultural change. Secondly, changes in modes of communication shape human life. Thirdly, as McLuhan once stated prophetically, ‘we shape our tools and they in turn shape us’” (Couros, 2003: 12). Think about it, what mode of communication shaped you? I can honestly say that I was not shaped by the internet, facebook or the mobile phone, those were merely devices that made my life simpler and easier, when they eventually appeared. Remember when we were thought radical when we used television or video in the classroom? Before that the book was considered revolutionary, now we are moving towards Web2.0 and it is ripping us from our comfort zones and confronting us with the mode of communication that is shaping the lives of our students
  • Unfortunately the shift is not only toward technology but also from “content consuming” to “content producers” (Senar, 2007: 2), a notion John Senar elaborates on, stating that contemporary education at all levels tends to cast students in the role of content consumers; they are presented material which has to be developed by others and are expected to demonstrate that they have absorbed the content in some way. Student- generated content has also long been an integral art of the educational process with the limited purpose of demonstrating that students have absorbed content (Senar, 2007: 1). The importance is not that there is a shift or how it is going to impact on our lives, but rather that the shift is happening and that the difficulty in managing and adapting to it is not insurmountable, albeit with a little creativity. As someone driving technology on the Varsity College Port Elizabeth campus, I have seen and experienced many of the challenges and I think it is worth sharing some of the solutions and rewards. And here I would like to point out that these challenges are posed both from the digital immigrants and the digital natives. This highlights a need for creative classroom management and student (and lecturer) buy in, which can be achieved through activities that encourage student-generated content.
  • I would like to focus on Web2.0 technology and a blended learning approach, as it is more geared to our students’ needs and the world they will be entering, and have arguably been living in their entire lives. One just has to realise that at 30+ I was born before the internet went commercial in 1987, which is why I can picture a world without Web2.0 technology, but can they (our students) picture theirs without it? Blended learning seems to offer a ‘blended’ alternative where both worlds meet and traditional teaching methods and styles merge with Web2.0 resources and technology to create a comfortable learning space where the digital native and the digital immigrant can exchange ideas at their own pace
  • This is indicative of why it is necessary to embrace a new learning environment where we, as educators, are welcoming technology enhanced teaching and learning devices in the classroom, students multi-tasking (BBMing and texting while we lecture), Web2.0 applications and the challenges these pose. Many people are asking, “But why?” Once again, I turn to Prensky for an answer “Today’s students are no longer the people our education system was designed to teach” (Prensky, 2001: 1). We need to adapt and change with our environment and create a system where we can reach our students.
  • Admittedly, I cannot state that all Web2.0 students are all tech savvy digital natives, if I did I would be ignoring a lot of respected research, but suffice to say that I do acknowledge that it is “too simplistic to describe young first year student born after 1983 as a single generation. This generation is not homogenous in the use and application of new technologies in that there are significant variations amongst students that lie with in the Net-generation age band” (Jones et al, 2010: 722). However, this does not mean that our students are technologically illiterate; it just means that they are not all equally adapted at using Web2.0 applications for educational purposes (Kennedy et al, 2006: 4), yet. Advantage us. There is also the concern that not every student is computer literate, granted, but do they need to be?
  • Not every student may have a laptop, ipad or notebook, but they all have a cell phone, the digital device of the future, and lately a cell phone can accomplish almost as much as a computer. I know of students that have typed entire assignments using the document application on their Blackberry, which doubles as a gaming console, a research tool, a flash drive, social networking tool and finally a phone.
  • I am sure there are other uses, but I am a mere infant in the world of smartphones
  • My 7year old son is playing LOL (League of Legends) online and complaining about lag, when I download YouTube videos. At the same time my toddler is playing Ninja Jump on the tablet, and I still cannot beat his score.
  • Our students are technologically aware, but not always in the way we would like them to be or in the way we are.
  • Not every student will have the discipline or ability to solely use technology for learning, which is why a blended approach is required, where we embrace technology enhanced learning. Wendy Drexler that focuses on the concept of blended learning and how the 21st century classroom has changed to incorporate blended learning says: “In the past, learning environments were immediately associated with a physical location such as a school, library or classroom; however, the concept is increasingly expanded to include online learning, virtual schools, and blend opportunities that combine traditional with digital options” (Drexler, 2009: 369).
  • She explains that the secret is finding “an appropriate balance between structure and learning autonomy in order to facilitate self-directed, personalised learning” (Drexler, 2010: 370). Student-generated content can be useful in finding this balance, as it addresses the technology divide, and it assists with peer teaching and reinforces the learning from the classroom. An example includes a student that used his cell phone to record a presentation, instead of presenting it in front of the entire class. This was a massive time saver as I was able to watch it in the comfort of my own home, my students were happy because they could present the work from the comfort of their own home and I was able to rewind and re-watch anything I missed. Watching the recoding of a presentation (based on content covered in class) I was able to see how well the student understood the work and I am able to show this video to other student as an alternative demonstration of the work, in a language they will understand. I will definitely be using this method again in the future, as the students took pride in what they did, a notion which is substantiated by Steve Wheeler (2008: 987). He states that there is “evidence that user-crated content software in particular encourages deeper engagement with learning through the act of authoring, simply because the awareness of an audience, no matter how virtual or tentative”. Using applications like Glogster.edu, Sliderocket and blogger one can encourage students to engage with content in fun way and they are able to generate their own content, showing what they understand and they can share this with other students in the classroom and online.
  • The peer teaching aspect is also invaluable, I lecture Communication and there are various student-generated ‘assignments’ on YouTube that I have been able to download and share with my students to cover the content we are doing in class. The work is explained to them by another student, it is more entertaining than a lecturer trying to convey the information and it is more accessible to the students than a podcast I may have produced. If they do not understand what I am saying in the lecture room why provide them with more content I generated when there is so much other content out there. Why not allow, no, encourage our students to put their own content out there for others to see? If students can upload a funny video of a prank gone wrong (and inadvertently played on the lecturer) I am sure they can use the same resources to do a small task for class. ICE tasks work very well for this, and it uses less paper, and is so much faster to mark. I suggested this to my students, their response was unanimous: We will if you will… so I guess I will then, eventually, but sooner rather than later.
  • Steve Wheeler (2001: 7) points out that it is not merely about technology randomly tossed at students in a classroom but the ability “to adapt new technologies and software into real teaching contexts”.
  • We do not have to bombard students with technology in the classroom, blended learning is the combination of traditional and technology, so start with allowing the students to play/work in their comfort zone while we play/work in ours – at some point we will drag each other in and over. Students that are involved and engaged are focussed on their learning and educators that are engaging and willing to learn from their students are too. I have found that students are more willing to ‘sit up and pay attention’ to Education 1.0 (the comfort zone many lecturers still find themselves in) if we incorporate technology, either as homework or, as an element in the classroom.
  • I am currently putting the latter to test in my classroom, allowing students with devices to use them at will, effectively seeing if digital natives can really multitask, as Nicholas Skytland points out in Digital Natives: A perspective on the Future of Public Service (2009).
  • It is a radical approach, with a myriad of pitfalls, but I am also using it as a gauge to my teaching, as it is very unlikely for an engaged student to reach for a phone to BBM a friend. This approach is inspired by a talk by Sir Ken Robinson Changing Education Paradigms (2011) where he states that our students are living in the most intensely stimulating period in the history of earth. He elaborates to say that our students are beseeched with information from every platform (technology) and being penalised for getting distracted from the boring stuff presented in the classroom.
  • Sir Ken Robinson- Changing Educational ParadigmsUploaded by theRSAorg on Oct 14, 2010http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U
  • I realised one has to walk a fine line when distinguishing between students losing interest as a consequence of technology and ineffective classroom management and student engagement. I asked my students what their expectations are of me (starting the second semester) and they asked that I not be boring, that I entertain and not to give up if they do not understand something. In return they offered me cooperation, participation and respect. I find if I incorporate technology in the classroom the work becomes less boring, the students are entertained and they are more motivated to keep discovering new methods to encourage understanding. We use Edmodo in the Hotel 1 class and my students are excited to interact in the Edmodo group, and willing to do the online poll, preparation quizzes (to be submitted before class) and the feedback assignments (to be submitted after class)
  • My mission for 2012 is not to be boring and to leverage my students’ technology to my advantage. I felt that I am on the right path when I was lecturing Business Communication to the Software development students, and when it was time for break not a single student noticed and was even surprised when I indicated it was break. I had these students for four sessions and this happened at every break, they enjoyed class and even though this lecture had no technology aspect, other than using YouTube as a search engine to find information to then summarise. The students remained focused, but they are also able to download my slides from the cloud (www.vcpestudnetsupport.co.za) if there is anything they would like to follow up on. At the same time, I also realised that it does not work with every module in every classroom; one has to evaluate each class on their own merits before employing this strategy. I tend not use applications per module, but rather per student group. Some students are comfortably navigating cyberspace, while other are still paddling along behind the ‘web surfers’.
  • So, the main elements inherit to my topic are: blended learning as an approach to incorporate technology into our classrooms in order to reach the digital native, potentially through user generated content, which, in turn begs a new (creative) approach to classroom management: engage the students or their cell phones will.
  • The students in this generation and especially future generations will demand teachers who can teach them with methods they know and understand. That inevitably involves teaching with technology.
  • I would also like to debunk some of the “we are the experts” myths and remind fellow educators that we are allowed, no, rather expected to learn from our students. We do not stop learning when we start teaching, that is not what life long learning is about, lets embrace technology, ‘one app at a time’ and create a new learning space for everyone. It is after all part of the ‘lifelong learning culture’, there is a wealth of knowledge out there; we just need to leverage the web, other educators online and around us and our students. Collaboration is key.
  • In conclusion I would like to remind everyone of Will Richardson’s quote: “21st century skills are all about teaching our kids to navigate the world as THEY are experiencing it, not the world WE experienced”. (Richardson, 2012). I would just like to add one thing; let us keep experiencing it with them because we cannot indefinitely avoid technology in the classroom. We have reached the end of the road, we cannot continue to procrastinate, and the time is now. Let’s jump into our students’ world both feet first.
  • WEB2.0: Preparing students for their world not ours.

    1. 1. Presented at By Anne Olsen @weirdsister_AnnCelebrate Teachingand Learning 2012 “We don’t need no thought control” (with apologies to Pink Floyd) – Preparing students for their world not ours.http://www.alexmorellon.com/picture/thought%20control.png?pictureId=12384770&asGalleryImage=true&__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1323090584970
    2. 2. https://edutechdebate.org/ict-in-schools/there-are-no-technology-shortcuts-to-good-education/ We need a new learning space for our digital natives
    3. 3. The Who?http://www.flickr.com/photos/crimsonninjagirl/255685793/in/faves-11607028@N08/
    4. 4. http://www.flickr.com/photos/crimsonninjagirl/255685793/in/faves-11607028@N08/
    5. 5. Net Generation
    6. 6. Next Generation
    7. 7. Nexters
    8. 8. Generation Y
    9. 9. Generation Why
    10. 10. Millennials
    11. 11. Digital Natives
    12. 12. Generation Now
    13. 13. iGeneration
    14. 14. Echo Boomers
    15. 15. Google Generation
    16. 16. Nintendo Generation
    17. 17. Screenagers
    18. 18. WEB2.0 students
    19. 19. http://hannah321.edublogs.org/
    20. 20. Is education 1.0 ready for Web2.0 students? – John Thompsonhttp://m.ocdn.eu/_m/ba62c7c60cf62c4ea692bb217638ce7b,61,1.jpg
    21. 21. http://ecavey.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/digital-natives-vs-digital-immigrants/
    22. 22. Listening to the Natives is better than Waiting for the Barbarians. Digital Natives are native speakers of technology, fluent in the digital language of computers, video games and the internet. Digital Immigrants have adopted many aspects of technology, but we retain an ‘accent’ because we still have one foot in the past.http://www.flickr.com/photos/acroamatic/387726242/in/faves-11607028@N08/ – Marc Prensky (2005:8)
    23. 23. http://www.shiftisgood.com/harrison-kohn-relaunches-as-shift
    24. 24. This is especially true for education.Once upon a time the book revolutionised education… now? … using technologies that have not been invented yet in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet - Shift happens 2012http://chriswondra.com/2007/12/17/paradigm-shift-ahead-learning-just-got-heroic/
    25. 25. The history of technology in education http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFwWWsz_X9shttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFwWWsz_X9s&feature=related
    26. 26. What mode of communication shaped your life?• Innovations in communication technology cause cultural change• Changes in modes of communication shape human life• We shape our tools and they in turn shape us – Couros, 2003: 12http://wwwdelivery.superstock.com/WI/223/1527/PreviewComp/SuperStock_1527R-1125489.jpg
    27. 27. Our students are no longer little versions of us… http://www.flickr.com/photos/serenaconnelly/4578557276/in/faves-11607028@N08/We need to look beyond or 20th centuryknowledge or training to guide them…
    28. 28. Break out the comfort zoneInto THE ZONEhttp://decidingedge.com/technology/digital-revolution/
    29. 29. Consumers vs creatorshttp://inblurbs.com/blog/category/content-creation-strategy/
    30. 30. LECTURER IN A BLENDERhttp://www.saffroninteractive.com/solutions/blended-learning
    31. 31. A world without technology?http://www.stockvault.net/photo/99250/african-teaching-room
    32. 32. http://www.flickr.com/photos/7815007@N07/6875671556/
    33. 33. Blended learning in action
    34. 34. Todays students are no longer the people our education system was designed to teachhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/mister-mac/7309103230/sizes/k/in/faves-11607028@N08/
    35. 35. Advantage us!http://www.stockvault.net/photo/115324/computer-kid
    36. 36. http://edupln.ning.com/profile/GiseldaAparecidadosSantos
    37. 37. http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Cell-Phones/Section-1.aspx
    38. 38. A smart phone infant or an infant with a smartphone?http://chanda-green.blogspot.com/2012/03/digital-native-or-digital-immigrant.html
    39. 39. A Magazine Is an iPad That Does Not Work.m4v http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXV-yaFmQNkhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXV-yaFmQNk
    40. 40. Not all students are able to solely use technology for learninghttp://hhhsesl.edublogs.org/2012/03/14/why-blended-learning-gr-7-b/
    41. 41. Balance structure/http://www.flickr.com/photos/54636583@N07/5171536863/in/faves-11607028@N08 and learning autonomy Facilitate self- directed, personalised learning (Drexler, 2010: 370)
    42. 42. http://alloulamaniedm310.blogspot.com/ It’s too easy to just randomly throw technology at students
    43. 43. Edu1.0 meets Web2.0http://blog.aeseducation.com/blended-learning/
    44. 44. Generation M: Multitaskers in theoryhttp://mar9arita.wordpress.com/2010/11/05/this-century-new-networks/
    45. 45. Generation M:Multitaskersin practice
    46. 46. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U&feature=related
    47. 47. http://www.e-forwards.com/2011/09/back-to-school-best-quotes-about-education-and-school-days/teaching-today-amazing-7-3/
    48. 48. http://www.heartcom.org/Equinox.htm
    49. 49. - Sheryl Nussbaum-Beachhttp://allthingslearning.wordpress.com/2012/03/09/21c-teachers-their-skills-literacies-and-fluencies/
    50. 50. http://drapestakes.blogspot.com/2007/12/electronic-devices-in-schools-please.html
    51. 51. Lets plug into our studentshttp://blog.stanis.ru/img/29737.jpg
    52. 52. Welcome to their worldhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/prospere/7128498451/in/faves-11607028@N08/
    53. 53. Couros, A. (2006). Innovation, Change Theory and the Acceptance of New Technologies: A literature review. [online] Available at: http://www.educationaltechnology.ca/couros/publication_files/unpublishedpapers/change_theory.pdf Drexler, W. (2010). The networked student model for construction of personal learning environments: Balancing teacher control and student autonomy. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology. Vol 26 (3) pp 369-385 [online] www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet26/ajet26.html [Accessed: 15 March 2012] Jones, C., Ramanau, R., Cross, S., & Healing, G. (2012) Net generation or digital natives: Is there a distinct new generation entering university? United Kingdom: The institute of Educational technology. [online] Available at http://oro.open.ac.uk/19890/ [Accessed 20 May 2012] Kennedy, G., Krause, T.J., Churchward, A. & Gray, K. (2006) First Year Students’ Experiences with Technology: Are they really Digital Natives? Melbourne: Centre for the Study of Higher Education [online] Available at https://www.griffith.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf.../NativesReport.pdf [Accessed: 15 March 2012] Prensky, M. (2005). Listen to the Natives. Learning in the Digital Age. Vol63(4) pp8-13 Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon. Vol9(5) p1-6 Robinson, Sir Ken. (2011). Changing Education Paradigm. [online] Available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U. [Accessed: 9 March 2012] Richardson, W. (2012). Read. Write. Connect. Learn. [online] available at http://willrichardson.com/ [Accessed: 9 May 2012] Sener, J. (2007). In Search of Student-Generated Content in Online Education. e-mentor. No4 (21) [online] www.e-mentor.edu/pl/eng [Accessed: 12 March 2012] Skytland, N. (2009). Digitial Natives: A perspective on the Future of Public Service. [online] Available at www.slidehare.net/skytland. [Accessed: 2 February 2012] Shift happens. (2012) http://shifthappens.wikispaces.com/ [Accessed: 9 March 2012] Wheeler, S., Yeomans, P. and Wheeler, D. (2008). The good, the bad and the wiki: Evaluating student- generated content for collaborative learning. British Journal of Educational Technology. Vol 39 (6) p987- 995 Wheeler, S. (2001). Information and communication technologies and the changing role of the Teacher, Journal of Educational Media. Vol 26 pp7-18http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/5339/What-Everybody-Ought-to-Know-Before-Hiring-a-Digital-Native.aspx