Teaching and Learning In the Digital Age

Notes taken from: Gabriel Rshaid, Marc Prensky, Stephen Covey, Anina Focaraccio

Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age
• Schools have not changed much… • … but everything else has. • Model of poverty to infinite abundance. • Tantalizing implications for educators.

The “Old” School
• Centralized knowledge. • Physical barriers. • There was value in possessing knowledge • School curriculum based on contents. • Cumulative construction of knowledge. • Higher studies were very specific. • Specialization.

The New School
• "Democratization" of knowledge • Curriculum is more oriented to skills • Different learning styles / Interactive learning • Prepare them for changes. The only certainty is change. • Decision on how much content is needed in order to ensure good decision

The New School
• Our students have changed radically, they are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach. • Marc Prensky, digital immigrants vs. natives. • Change in thinking patterns.

Technology and Schools
• Larry Cuban “The computer meets the classroom, and the classroom wins” • Schooling is less vulnerable to electronic technology:
– Cultural beliefs about what is important in learning. – Age-graded, departmentalized structure. (SKR date of manufacture)

The Classroom of the Future

• Portable high-speed connectivity for every student. • Centralized multimedia services with extensive search capabilities. • Virtual reality, simulations • Real-time content. • Miniaturized multimedia recording.

The 21st Century Challenge

• Reconverting the teacher role to that of facilitator. • Greater focus on learning than on teaching. • Creation of knowledge. • Many new skills that need to be taught. • Technology can play a major role.

Delivering the promise through technology

• Interactive, real time learning environment. • Learning by doing, simulations. • Multimedia & gaming. • Personalized, just in time assessment. • Interaction with experts, bringing down the walls of the classroom.

The new skills
• Filtering. • Critical thinking. • Analysis and validation of authors. • Statistical analysis. • Global Awareness. • Solving for the unknown. • Lifelong learning!

The new skills
To be able to follow one’s passion(s) as far as one’s abilities allow In order to do that, no matter what the future brings, individuals must master the following skills:
Note that many of these terms and ideas come from Stephen Covey‟s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. „Tinkering‟ is from John Seeley Brown

The new skills

Marc Prensky

1. Knowing the right thing to do

• • • •

Behaving ethically Thinking critically Setting goals Having good judgment Making good decisions

The new skills
2. Getting it done
• • • • Planning Solving problems Self-directing Self-assessing

3. Doing it with others
• Taking leadership • Communicating/interacting with individuals and groups (especially using technology) • Communicating/interacting with machines (= “programming”) • Communicating/interacting with a world audience • Communicating/interacting across cultures

The new skills
4. Doing it creatively • • • • • Adapting Thinking creatively Tinkering and designing Playing Finding your voice

5. Constantly doing it better • • • • • Reflecting Being proactive Taking prudent risks Thinking long-term Continually improving through learning

Assessment
• Closed-book sit down written tests. • Standardized testing. • Just in time assessment. • No retest! Parallel with real life / simulations. • Formative assessment. • Responses, brain research. Examples of video games. • Feedback through the rearview mirror / example of pilot.

A Curriculum for the Digital Age
• More based on skills than contents. • Brain based learning applications. • Student-centered learning. • Evolution of languages, multimedia design as an alphabetization skill. • Multimedia vs. essays?

Visual Literacy

The Risks
• Intrinsic risk of opening up. • Confusion, certain frustration due to overabundance of stimuli. • Inability to concentrate for prolonged periods of time • Loss in ability to imagine, plan ahead, visualization. • Imagination.

Conclusions and Challenges

• When I become a teacher...

Conclusions and Challenges
• 21st Century challenge calls for deep changes in our approach to teaching. • Missing piece in the 21st Century Skills puzzle?

Making the most of free web applications
Classroom organization: • Wikispaces • Delicious • Moodle Search engines: • Ask • Kartoo

Moodle

Making the most of free web applications
Surveys: • Survey monkey

Vocabulary / Thinking Skills • Flikr + Bookr • Tag Galaxy • Mindomo • Wordle • PicLits

Making the most of free web applications
Reading • Daily Lit

Writing • Blogs • Zimmer Twins • Bubble Share • One word

Making the most of free web applications
Listening/ Speaking Voicethread • Audacity Spelling: • Spelling City

Final note
Ages ago, Plutarco warned us about the dangers of building lives on pure information. Wisely he said: “The mind is not a glass to be filled, but a fire to be ignited”

“The mind is not a glass to be filled, but a fire to be ignited”

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