Prensky--October 13, 2010
Schoolsʼ job today is to MOTIVATE students. Kids have all the resources but lack
change is happening so fast itʼs SCARY. Most are preferring to walk backwards into the
future; well, our kids arenʼt going backwards. The danger here is of fear is to rush
blindly to protect that which we love, like paper books; love the feel and smell of books
LOL. But even they are moving to electronic. Things are changing..What COUNTS in
books is whatʼs IN the books, not the form. itʼs the words and ideas that count.
**The change is coming, exponentially!!! THe ﬂat line has become now exponential.
**Consider if all the books were in the cloud, connnected...how many would be willing to
shred the books and scan them and put them in the air. This change will happen in one
generation; perhaps in 25 years no more new physical books...even email is for old
people (Headline in the chronicle of higher education)
**Shift should be to SEEK to good in the changes and adapt them for our purpose.
students, technology, and pedagogy are all changing; students are mobile mobiles and
pedagogy in need of renewal.
**Microchips even in restroom--toilets, urinals, sinks, soap, towel dispensers.
Our kids will see technology double every year over the next 25 years...Consider the
mainframe of the 1960ʼs and todayʼs cell phone. We are at the atomic level now, ex. the
new tools come fast and go fast, which is the problem for teaching. It becomes
outdated before teachers can learn it. We as educators donʼt have to be the experts at
Our kids develop differently. Emotional and knowledge used to grow at same rate, but
now we are out of sync as their knowledge level grows at a MUCH higher rate than their
emotional level. OUR JOB is to teach the BIG IDEAS, CONCEPTS...ex, what are
cities? why do we have them? how many are there? who lives there? advantages/
disadvantages? OUR curriculum is IRRELEVANT to them!!!!
Our kids are born to the idea of rapid change; we arenʼt. They expect us to change our
teaching style in order to keep up and keep them interested. We canʼt use 30 yr old
lesson plans. We need to get our students prepared for a context that has changed and
continues to change rapidly..
SHOW REVERANCE FOR THE PAST BUT NOT LIVE IN IT ---DEBORAH
THEY NEED THE LATEST/BEST WAY TO NETWORK, COMMUNICATE, PRESENT,
CALCULATE, AND LEARN.
What nouns/tools do I use now? What COULD we be using? Is it the most appropriate
and best noun/tool? Like YouTube perhaps?
“I would never use my textbooks to teach again.” said by a teacher. So a textbook is
not always the right noun...donʼt overinvest in any one tool.
Students want their education to be real, and relevant. Donʼt make them power down.
Real=affecting outcomes (like, using cell phone to vote for politician; twitter to reduce
phone charges; use knowledge of forces to help skateboard higher; persuade real
people to do something; estimate when infrastructure will fail)
****What else could we do to make teaching more real? community events; wetlands
project; oil spill; chilean miners; matching news headlines to the actual statistics; GPS
**Importance of video: video is the new text, like YouTube, Big Think; TED Talks (SEND
THESE TO TEACHERS VIA FACEBOOK); make the ﬂip your best friend; keeps
everyone connected, like facebook, ePals, Skype--USE THEM! THEY ARE FREE!!
Make students have peers from around the world; games (itʼs amazing what they do to
get points); intramural sports event for TAKS review!!!; games should be the new
worksheet; problem is a lack of curricular games..make them, publish them. Let kids be
assigned job of ﬁnding “best YouTube video on ______”
***Let kids be involved in policy making for usage!!!!
**Importance of cell phones: kids have them; there is at least one classroom with one
cell phone; use them!; start evaluating kids with their tools--that would be like a doctor
not using their own tool or stethescope! Example, use cell p hone to ﬁnd out who is
soandso....like who is “J Craig Venter?” “Name 3 important things heʼs done”
ACTION ITEM: sharing something important with your teachers..or students..
start looking for games...
show panel for students to tell ad show teachers how theyʼd prefer to be
taught--eliminate boredom; make 100% engagement
***Our role as the 21st century teacher is to move to a pedagogy of ʻtellingʼ to
ʻpartnering”--active learning, PBL; student-centered learning; learning by doing--itʼs all
the same thing, they all say students and teachers need to partner in a NEW way
besides teacher talk, and students take notes. Let students use the technology to
create, ﬁnd content, make projects--they are good at it. Teachers can ask the right
questions, add rigor, put things into context.
Ex. There were 3 causes of the ____war. You have 15 minutes to ﬁnd out what they
are and then weʼll discuss it.; rather, than here they are, take notes. Most kids prefer the
1st choice. Kids still arrive at the content you want them to learn and you didnʼt have to
Kids donʼt like telling..say “teachers just talk and talk and talk”. Letʼs have question-led
learning; our textbooks have it backwards...the questions should come ﬁrst, not at the
end of the lesson. “Begin with the end in mind” (Covey). Questions engage, IF they are
the right ones. Ones that make someone say “Thatʼs a good question”
Tools are changing, and we as teachers are tools. We have to be a 21st century tool.
Our role has changed, while we still have to prepare them for TAKS we have to prepare
them to ﬁnd their passion and what they are going to do in life. Their world is not one
that is written anymore, itʼs digital. We have to be their coach, guide, and partner, NOT
lecturer, controller, or ruler. Have teachers evaluate themselves on this continuum.
**show video on making stairs more fun to use...turning them into piano stairs.
**study teaching digital natives for more ideas...
Problem is, if you want to lecture and use technology , those methods cross and get in
the way. Laptops will make no change if the teachers donʼt change . Kids are gonna
facebook and not listen. LOL USE THE MACHINES TO FIND OUT WHAT THE
CONTENT IS FOR THE DAY.
implication: CHANGE TO THE PARTNERING PEDAGOGY. SHOW TEACHERS HOW
TO PARTNER. TEACH WITHOUT LECTURING. then the kids will use the technology
and take off.
(set the bar high; show pic of sumo wrestler skiing)
JOB AS DIRECTOR is teachers are afraid of change; we have to help them and show
support. It takes work.
1. how teachers should use technology--teachers use powerpoints and think they are
awesome, but kids think itʼs just like the chalkboard. The Prensky apostasy (stress-
reducer), donʼt wast time learning to create with new tools, kids can and want to do it.
Teachers should never use any technology FOR their students, put kids in charge.
2. ensure equity--we have to be a digital multipliers, not dividers. allow greater access
to labs; encourage sharing; group them around the technology you do have
3. share successes; have passion--todayʼs students love to share but todayʼs adults
donʼt! Knowledge is power keep it close type thinking is what adults have.
THE MORE WE SHARE THE FASTER WE LEARN!!! Share on YouTube. How-to
Action item: have teachers and administrators make videos of success stories. Just
even one minute. Have them make a one minute video on what they are passionate
about. Ex: how to redirect an angry parent? (admin level) kids Video kids leaving
rooms and video what was engaging or interesting about the lesson?
Five Skills Framework: (his new book)
Goal: following your passion, as far as your abilities allow.
1. ﬁgure out the right thing to do (morally, ethically)
2. getting it done (goal setting)
3. doing it with others (communicating interacting)
4. doing it creatively
5. constantly doing it better
if our people know their passion, and can, in any situation, do these 5 things, we will
have successful kids.
Easy to do things:
1. know and use student passions
2. use guiding questions/tell less
3. make everything real and affect outcomes
4. distinguish nouns from verbs
5. always partner with students
6. connect with world (epals, skype)
7. employ studentʼs tools, esp video
8. have students use/run/maintain all technology
9. offer students choices
10.use relaxation tools
11.have students self-evaluate
12.share constantly with each other
*********turn the “yes, but”’s into “yes, AND”*******
Remember, efﬁcient doesnʼt mean effective......