Digital Learners prefer parallel processing and multi-tasking. Many educators prefer singular processing and single or limited tasking. This is called continuous partial attention and involves randomly toggling between tasks deciding which one to do next.
For example, we can be driving in the car, listening to music, checking the rearview mirror, talking on a cell phone and thinking about things you have to do. But now in our increasingly digital world, this stuff happens faster. Ian can personally remember his parents coming into his bedroom and telling me to turn off the radio because He was supposed to be studying.
He remembers being told by teachers that the best way to study was to isolate himself from the television, the tape player, and the busy sidewalks outside the window. He was told to clear a nice study corner, with a comfy chair, good lighting, and ample workspace. Contrast that with the ways things are today. In fact, many students will tell you that doing this all at the same time helps them concentrate. Digital Learners prefer processing pictures, sounds color, and video before text.
Many educators prefer to provide text before pictures, sounds, color and video. For generations, graphics were generally illustrations, accompanying the text and providing some kind of clarification to a concept. For Digital Natives, the relationship is almost completely reversed. The role of text is to provide more detail to something that was first experienced as an image. Since childhood, the digital generation has been continuously exposed to television, videos, and computer games that put colorful, high-quality, highly expressive graphics in front of them with little or no accompanying text.
The result of this experience has been to considerably sharpen their visual abilities. They find it much more natural than our generation to begin with visuals, and to mix text and graphics in richly meaningful and personal ways.
The Art and Science of Teaching
Digital learners need to be able to communicate as effectively graphically as we were educated to communicate with text. And visual fluency — needs to be embedded into every subject and every grade level. And be the responsibility of ever teacher from Kindergarten to Post Secondary. Digital Learners prefer random access to hyper-linked multimedia information. Many teachers prefer to provide info linearly, logically and sequentially. This new information structure has increased their awareness and ability to make connections, and has freed them from the constraint of a single path of thought, and in our humble opinion is generally an extremely positive development.
At the same time, it can be argued with some justification that unlimited hyperlinking may make it more difficult for students to follow a linear train of thought and to do some types of deep or logical thinking. For Digital Learners, their mindset goes something like "Why should I read something from beginning to end, or follow someone else's logic, when I can just 'explore the links' and create my own?
While the Internet may be far superior for quickly finding related bits of information, for understanding a topic deeply, it still requires the ability for extended focus and reflection. Digital Learners prefer to network simultaneously with many others. Many educators prefer students to work independently before they network and interact. When we were students, we were expected, at least in the beginning when new information was being introduced, to work independently. When we were out of school, the only ways we communicated with others was face to face or by phone.
Digital natives have grown up with literally dozens of ways to communicate. From cell phones, to MySpace, Friendster, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, Instant Messaging and so on they need, want and expect to be able to instantly and seamlessly communicate with others using tools of personal and mass collaboration — and they take for granted that this kind of access to others will be available Just in case you need to know something to pass the course.
Just in case you want to become a scientist or an astronaut. Digital Learners prefer to learn just in time. They want to gain an understanding of the things that they need to know to allow them to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge just in time to play a game or how to do Just-in-time learning is about having the skills, knowledge and habits of mind that will allow them to learn just in time when that next window of opportunity or area of interest opens to them. A classic example of just-in-time learners happens when a Digital Learner purchases or receives a new game or digital device.
Do they read the manual from cover to cover like many of us do? Of course not! They pick it up and start messing around with it, pushing buttons and exploring the interface. Then they immediately go out online searching for blogs, user groups, cheat sheets and message boards to figure out what else they can do; or the text or Skype their friends to get the information they need.
Digital Learners prefer instant gratification and immediate rewards. Many educators prefer deferred gratification and delayed rewards. The digital culture provides exactly what kids need most - constant affirmation, lots of attention and the ability to distinguish themselves. Games and digital technology tell the user that if they put in the time and master the game or device, they will be rewarded with access to the next level, with a win, or a place on the all time high scorers' list.
What they do determines what they get, and what they get is obviously intrinsically worth the effort they put in. New technologies excel at giving instant feedback, and the payoff for any action is typically very clear. Many educators prefer feel compelled to teach to the curriculum guide and tests.
While often derided in the press as being intellectual slackers, in reality Digital Natives are very much an intellectual problem-solving generation. Many types of logic, challenging puzzles, spatial relationships, and other complex thinking tasks are built into the computer and video games they enjoy. While some have argued that play and games are simply preparation for work, for today's younger generation, play is work, and work is increasingly seen in terms of games and game play.
They want their learning to be relevant and instantly useful. They want to know what possible connections this has to them and their world? What should be clear from the research and what we have said and shown you is that there is a growing disconnect between the learning preferences of digital kids and the teaching and assessment preferences of traditional teachers. Ask yourself this question — why are kids in our classrooms? Are they there because they want to be there or are they there because they have no other choice? As Mike Josiah says, anyone who knows anything about learning knows that the secret to success in the classroom is not about being a good disciplinarian and has everything to do with engagement and motivation.
Digital kids are increasingly experiencing a digital world that is increasingly — some say completely - out of synch with traditional approaches and assumptions about teaching, learning and assessment. And we believe that this is an absolute recipe for disaster.
Kids are increasingly voting with their feet and their mind. Shame on us! And what makes these statistics even more shocking is when one realizes that these are only the opinions of those students who have remained in high school for four years. Students who have found the high school experience the least relevant have already exited the system in huge numbers.
We say shame on us. So with this in mind we want to outline seven major changes we believe educators and education must immediately make if we ever hope to effectively re-connect and communicate with the digital generation and in doing so, to leverage their digital preferences and learning styles and adequately prepare them for the fundamentally different world of the 21st century The traditional curriculum is how we transmit culture from one generation to the next. But traditional literacy is no longer enough. Kids are different — neurologically different, and as a result they see the world differently than we do.
But many educators only pay lip service to this notion. When told that kids are different, educators knowingly nod their heads — uh huh -yup - but then they shut the door to the classroom and go back to business as usual - and it could just as easily be all over again. And more than just understanding, we need to be able to use the very 21st century tools and skills that educators and Friedman and.
And knowing about the digital culture is about more than just rhetoric - this is about more than just talking about change and flapping our lips. This is about the application of the 21st century skills by educators. To actually going from talking change to walking it. Each week the challenges become larger, but you do it by taking baby steps.
First you learn a new tool. Then you learn how to use the tool. Then learn to use the tool to create your own digital resources and content. So what kinds of learning activities, what kinds of tools are we talking about here? To gain an appreciation of the amazing visual skills, lightning quick reflexes, and rapid-fire decision-making ability that digital kids have, try playing video games with them even if they will inevitably kick your butt. And to really get a feel for their remarkable ability to handle the simultaneous bombardment of multiple forms of information play those video games while music is playing at bone jarring levels and a movie is running in the corner of the screen.
Take the time to explore their online worlds. Take a close look at what Digital Natives are doing with video at YouTube. Go download some photos from Flickr. Download ring tones to your cell phone.
Then create a podcast of your own Read and respond to a blog then create a blog of your own. Learn how to use Instant Messenger. Search the Internet for sitesthat will help you develop that skill. The list goes on and on. Every day there are more tools and resources appearing. And remember, this is just the tip of a very large and growing iceberg of tools and resources. This divide is much less about have and have nots or the know and the know nots - and more about the generational divide between the way their generation and our generations look at the world - so catching up to them is really important.
But this is a great challenge in the age of high stakes testing and No Child Left Untested. Consider typical classroom instruction today. The primary focus is on typically memorization. The products are mainly traditional reports and tests. Elementary teachers assume that kids will be taught the critical thinking skills at the high school level. Most teachers judge their success as teachers on how the top third of kids in their classes do.
These students require time, they require energy, they require new strategies, and they require special attention. Think about tests. Then consider the language of the questions on the test. What kinds of verbs do we see? Verbs like identify, name, list, define, explain, describe - verbs that primarily reflect low level left-brained recall and regurgitation of facts. Materials that are decidedly non-technological, slow paced, twentieth century tools and environments.
In the digital culture this kind of learning is SO boring and SO irrelevant for most kids that they have to power down when dealing with teachers. In the age of No Child Left Untested, and No Teacher Left Standing, getting students to demonstrate competency with reading, writing, sciences and numeracy is a big challenge in itself. How can we possibly keep up with everything? We call this implementation model PhD — piled higher and deeper — the kitchen sink approach — there are literally dozens of essential skills discussed in books, on websites, and Wikipedia.
We want to add to the pile. What are the skills kids need today? What are the dynamics of the working world? First, as Friedman writes, there has been a shift in emphasis away from rote memorization to the higher level thinking, creativity and the problem solving that happen primarily in the right side of the brain. A shift to a skill set that was exclusively for the subset of management in the 20th Century.
In the 21st century everyone needs to have the higher- level thinking, creativity and problem solving skill set. In an age of multimedia, hypertext, blogs, wikis, and much more, reading is no longer a passive, linear activity that simply deals with text. And writing is no longer just about being able to communicate effectively with written or spoken text.
For a long time our schools have placed a great deal of emphasis on training our students to be good consumers of traditional content by becoming good readers, writers and learners. In the age of digital content, success is about teaching our children to also become good and responsible producers of content - writers, artists, composers, etc - to be prosumers - simultaneous producers and consumers of content.
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But if all learners do is read, write and calculate, they may be literate by 20th Century standards but certainly not by 21st Century standards. And as Friedman and Pink write, if they leave school with only 20th Century skills they will absolutely not be prepared for what awaits them after they finish school as a citizen, a family member or a worker.
To prepare them for their future, we need to move beyond literacy to an expanded list of 21st century fluencies. Let me distinguish between literacy and fluency. When you are literate you still have to think about what you have to do next. Fluencies are unconscious skills. You just intuitively know what to do. The 21st Century fluencies our students must have and our teachers must understand and be able to teach include:.
Technological Fluency Technological fluency involves the transparent use of digital tools to perform a wide range of tasks. In each case, the primary focus is not on the cards and cables, not about RAM and ROM, not about hardware and software, not about the tool but the task that needs to be accomplished. The primary focus is on head ware not hardware — critical thinking, problem solving, and decision-making. A focus on head ware rather than hardware means learning about the technology is nothing but an incidental but essential byproduct of that process. The task drives the use of the technology.
Learning about the technology is nothing but an incidental but essential byproduct of that process. But media fluency is not just for passive viewing. We live in an interactive visual world. The problem is that many digital natives outwardly appear to have exceptional technical and media skills which belie the fact that they have large holes in their understanding of the tools and techniques for effective communication. The Internet is a wasteland of digital products created by people who have little or no understanding of how to construct digital documents that communicate their messages effectively.
Effective communication is about more than just traditional products like a handwritten or typed report on the symbolism in the Lord of Flies. Not only to develop technical skills such as using a video camera, designing a web site or making a presentations — but also provides them with the empowering principles of graphical design, color theory, video editing, and the use of apparent motion to help them to do things better and to fill in those holes in their Swiss cheese understanding of media.
We have to note that most of these skills are either not taught in school or considered secondary, optional or elective if they are taught at all. In the 21st Century they need to be every bit as important if not MORE important as history, mathematics, and English literature. The difference here is that instead of submitting an essay written by hand, students will use a word processor, film, blog, podcast, wiki, or any other of a wide range of other digital products.
In the culture of the 21st Century all students need to have these media fluency skills. Information Fluency Information fluency is the ability to unconsciously and intuitively interpret information in all forms and formats in order to extract the essential knowledge and perceive its meaning and significance. First the researcher needs to be able to Ask good questions.
Once you have good questions, then based on those questions you have to be able to Access and Acquire raw material from the most appropriate high tech, low tech and no tech sources. This is not just about going to the card catalog and getting a book — this is about YouTube, Wikipedia, music, or interactive web sites. Digital resources are more and more the raw materials of the 21st C. More and more of these raw materials are graphical and audiovisual in nature.
Then to be able to Analyze and Authenticate the acquired data to distinguish between the good, the bad and the ugly of information - to distinguish between fact and opinion - to understand bias — and in the process to turn the data into usable knowledge. Then to be able to Apply the knowledge within the context of a real life, real world problem or a simulation of that problem - to build a bridge, write an essay, complete a science experiment, or perform in a debate.
The Art and Science of Teaching Comprehensive Framework Effective Instruction | eBay
At this stage the researcher is asked to move from theory into practice. And finally the researcher is asked to Assess both the product and the process. What was learned, how was it learned, how could we make this process, how could we make this product better the next time around? Finally, the fourth critically important, and emerging fluency for the digital age that ties everything together is:. Online Social Fluency Let us make our case. Many social networking sites, including Facebook and MySpace limit their to people over the age of They aggressively remove people for being underage not to mention having removed many thousands of people for inappropriate or illegal behavior.
These sites are serious about trying to make these safe places. But despite all their best intentions, these sites are only as safe as the user has the ability, and skills to make appropriate online judgments. Webkinz pets are cute little plush pets. Each pet comes with a special and unique secret code kids use to enter Webkinz World where they can take care of their virtual pet, play great kids games, answer trivia, and earn KinzCash.
Webkinz pets are the digital version of Tickle Me Elmo or Beanie Babies were for earlier generations. Club Penguin is promoted as a safe virtual world for kids to play, interact with friends and have fun letting their imaginations soar. Club Penguin is in the top 5 for market share, traffic from new and returning visitors, and time spent per user.
The problem is that well-intentioned parents cave in to kid pressure to get their children online and into these spaces. As Stephen Abram writes, what these two sites are doing is the Colombian strategy - intentionally or otherwise, they have become playground pushers of social networking digital crack. They promote consumerism brand loyalty and return visits because unlike MySpace or Facebook they have pay as you go subscription models or kids are required to buy something to enter the virtual learning environment and peer pressure is used as part of their word-of-mouth marketing.
On one hand, education and educators could learn a lot by carefully examining this model. As the National School Board Association noted in a recent paper, schools and districts that choose to block social sites rather than taking advantage of the opportunity to create a teachable moment are absolutely blowing it. Instead they bring in experts who cultivate stories that profile the Web as a seething cesspool of online predation. Education needs to offer a more balanced perspective.
While ethical companies like Club Penguin publish their privacy policies and have parent sections and make it easy to access questions, there are lots of sites out there now collecting behavioral and personal information on kids and beyond. Believe us, e-mail and phishing scams are just the a small fraction of what a thriving new industry is doing in targeting everyone for corporate profit. By osmosis? Sending kids out to the Web without helping them become socially online fluent is like giving the keys to the car to your kid without first teaching them how to drive safely.
In the digital age this particularly applies to how kids manage their own personal information and their online digital footprint. We believe we need to start helping students to learn the necessary skills much earlier by teaching them the essential and appropriate how to handle privacy and information issues. We already teach about ourselves, and awareness of our communities and our world in building blocks at the primary, intermediate and middle school levels.
At the earliest primary level kids learn about themselves — their name, their height, their weight and other personal information. Then we start talking about the nuclear family and start family tree projects as we expand it to include the extended family in the next grade. They learn about the neighborhood. We use maps and models of their homes in relation to the structure of communities. At each level, we define what kind of awareness students need to have online.
The Art and Science of Teaching: A Comprehensive Framework for Effective Instruction
What information would we tell others about ourselves in our family? What information would you e-mail grandma vs. What about strange neighborhoods? When do you tell people your whole name and address? See what we mean? We believe that these 21st Century fluencies are the absolute backbone of education and needs to be taught in the same structured manner that Math, science, social studies and language is taught. Taught at every grade and every subject area by every teacher from Kindergarten through to senility. But we have to be clear that if all we do is add another layer of curriculum nothing will change.
In order to help students learn these 21st Century fluency skills the next thing that needs to be done is:. Educators Need to Shift Their Instructional Approach There has to be a shift away from the predominant left-brained traditional stand and deliver, full frontal lecture approach of the 20th Century. We must resist the temptation to tell the whole story and must stop giving them the end product of our thinking. The problem with telling is that it takes the excitement of discovery out of learning. Telling also eliminates the motivation for learning. But we need to shift our instruction from predominantly full frontal lecturing to more of an emphasis on discovery learning.
In essence, we need to learn to teach lazy. Our job as educators should not be to stand up in front of students and show them how smart we are. Our job as educators is to empower them to become independent thinkers. We need to invoke a fundamental policy of progressive withdrawal into their lives. Let me explain why. When children come to us in kindergarten there are completely dependent on us to tell them what they need to do - and if we continue to focus primarily on content, and memorization and value that as being more important than thinking for themselves, they are still completely dependent on us in Grade 12 to tell them what they need to do to pass the test, pass the course, pass the grade and graduate.
Our job is the same as being a parent. What do we do? We help them up we brush them off, we encourage them to try again. Because our job, as difficult as it may be, particularly during their teenage years, is to help them to become independent and self-reliant. So why do we know that intuitively as parents, but in schools we continue to hang on tight - to cultivate and maintain our culture of dependency - dependency on the teacher, the textbook, the test. We need to teach lazy. We need to use progressive withdrawal.
We need to move from being the sage on the stage to being the guide on the side — the facilitator of learning. Because today we live in an age of InfoWhelm where accessible data is growing at exponential rates. It was increasingly difficult to be an expert during the 20th Century.
With the emergence of digital media, the Internet and InfoWhelm being an expert has become impossible in the 21st C. But despite the fact that we now live in an age of InfoWhelm, students continue to spend the vast majority of class time being lectured to. The primary focus is on LOTS - lower order thinking skills, simple data information recall, memorization and lots of information.
They just have short attention spans for old ways of teaching, learning and assessment of that learning. If we want our kids to be successful on the test - if we want them to be successful in life beyond being able to successfully complete a written exam — if we want them to graduate as more than just highly educated useless people - people who are good at school but not adequately prepared for life - then our emphasis as professional educators has to be on much more than just content recall - it has to be on much more than LOTS - we must give them assignments that require higher level thought.
The starting point is to remind you about how truly different their students are and adjust your assumptions about teaching, learning and assessment accordingly. The biggest gift teachers can give their children is their wisdom. What are the implications? Where are the connections?
How does this relate? Richard Wurman calls this Velcro learning. True learning can only occur when the brain can make meaning through a series of relevant connections between past experiences and new information. When the two are combined, long-term learning sticks permanently and powerfully to the student - just like Velcro. We Need to Let Students Access Information Natively Throughout history, education has always struggled trying to come to terms with new innovations and tools that are central to society only to relent later when the educational value of the new innovations and tools became clear.
They depended instead on expensive slates. What would students do when the slate was dropped and breaks? They no longer knew how to write on a slate without getting dust all over themselves. What would happen when they ran out of paper? And did they think that paper grew on trees? The National Association of Teachers reported in that students depended too much on ink and no longer knew how to use a knife to sharpen a pencil. According to the Rural American Teacher in , students depended too much on store bought ink.
They did not know how to make their own. What would happen when they ran out? In , it was observed that ballpoint pens would be the ruin of education. Students were using these devices and then just throwing them away. The values of thrift and frugality were being discarded. Businesses and banks would never allow such expensive luxuries. In it was noted that electronic calculators would never be able to compete with the computational ability of the human brain.
Cell phones, iPods, and social networking tools are just the latest trends to be thrown under the bus by education. Social networks are communities of people who share interests and activities. Social networking is primarily web based and provides a variety of ways for users to interact, such as chat rooms, instant messaging, video, voice chat, file sharing, blogging, or discussion groups and so on.
A new National School Board Association study has concluded that digital devices and social networking are now so deeply embedded in the lifestyles of 9 to 17 years olds that it rivals TV for their time and attention. While these devices and social networking appears to be an everyday part of lives of tweenagers and teenagers outside of school, most school districts have created rules against, or banned outright the use cell phones, iPods and other digital devices, and online activities such as chatting, tagging, instant messaging, bulletin boards, blogging, wikis, sending and receiving email at school, RSS readers, educational video games, or the use of social networks.
In many cases this has been done without efforts being made to first thoroughly understand these devices and tools or considering the enormous potential they have to provide enhanced learning opportunities and improved academic performance. This widespread blocking of these tools and activities is happening at the same time that in businesses and higher education, social networking and digital devices are commonly being used as the communications and collaboration tools of choice.
The report suggests that schools may be missing a HUGE opportunity to leverage digital tools and social networking tools at powerful learning resources and that we need to examine the remarkable educational potential of social networking, chat rooms, instant messaging, blogs, wikis, cell phones, digital tools, streaming video, tagging tools, RSS readers and much more for after- school homework help, review sessions and collaborative projects to enhance learning, teaching and assessment.
It also means allowing them to collaborate using the digital tools that are an everyday part of their culture. Because we live in a network culture that is the new reality of both business and life. Companies today are using mass collaboration, open source and social networking tools such as wikis, blogs, podcasts and virtual learning environments to be successful.
By coming together and cooperating with competitors to improve a given operation or solve problems. Wikinomics is a radical concept by traditional 20th Century thinking. Digital kids do the very same thing in their personal lives with their digital technology, their social networking software and their digital mindsets.
They work together in virtual digital mobs to get things done in creative and occasionally unimaginable ways Ted calls this spontaneous ad hocism. Plans are fluid, so in the course of an evening digital mobs can do 5 things with 5 different groups that Digital Immigrants might not have imagined being able to do in 5 weeks.
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This happens because they see the world differently than we do and they use their tools differently than we might to create unique digital products. They are a cultural necessity and a fundamental foundation of 21st Century life. Digital Natives could just as easily be texting with a kid in Afghanistan, Iraq or Venezuelaabout civil war as someone across town. They could just as easily be videoconferencing on a project with someone from Denmark as someone from somewhere else in the state or province.
They can share cultural information with a student in Japan as easily as they can with someone in the next seat. The possibilities are literally unlimited. We Need to Let Students Create Real World Digital Products We need them to create real world, real time digital products that allow them to reflect their understanding of both content and process. Learning is not just about end product of the learning but also the process that took place to gain that understanding.
Digital tools can help with the process of learning and producing the product of learning. For example, think about producing a magazine. What would be the primary tool you would choose to use — pen and paper or a word processor? Think of the 5 steps of the writing process - plan, draft, revise, proof, publish — the word processor is far more effective for each of these steps.
This is why modern publishers use word processing exclusively for the writing process. These are digital natives. We need to let them use their digital tools to demonstrate their knowledge of the subject while understanding that they will probably use these technologies differently than we would and also that they will use it in unexpected ways to create unexpected products. This is how vomenting and mashups became instantly popular in digital culture. By letting them access information natively we acknowledge their culture.
Our job is to show them how to be more effective with what they do, even when they take their products further than we can visualize or imagine. They can take it further than we can imagine because they live in different culture — a visual multimedia hyperlinked culture. So instead of traditional products like a handwritten or typed report on the symbolism in the Lord of Flies, we need to challenge them to create digital products as outcomes that not only cover the necessary content, not only to develop technical skills such as using a video camera, designing a web site or making a presentation; but also provide them with the empowering principles of graphical design, color theory, video and sound editing to help them do things better and to fill in those holes in their thinking.
These are digital natives raised in the new digital landscape. Because they view the world fundamentally differently than we do they will produce different products than we would; and they will produce products that reflect both the product and the process of their thinking; and that result in the creation of digital products that reflect more of a focus on HOTS, critical thinking, problem solving and 21st Century fluencies rather than just on the traditional LOTS.
And finally:. We Must Re-evaluate Assessment and Evaluation While there is still a place for traditional testing, true assessment is about much more than just memorization or content recall or the results of paper based, fill-in-the-blanks, short answer or bubble tests. Assessment and evaluation have to be used as more than tools of measurement — they have to be tools of change and learning. They have to be tools of change for both student Evaluation has to help both students AND teachers get better at what they do.
Assessment and evaluation are not just tools of accountability for external bodies that have little if any understanding of what real learning is about. Learners need clear and realistic standards, expectations, and criteria to work toward. They need appropriate tools, technologies, and resources to work with; they need lots of modeling, coaching, and mentoring to establish a sense of what quality and success look like.
They need lots of guided and independent practice. They need timely, targeted, non- judgmental feedback on their performance. They need opportunities to make mistakes as they learn and not be penalized for them. And they need authentic audiences in a variety of settings and contexts in which to demonstrate what they can do.
But most of all they need the encouragement to try and to do things in all kinds of performance areas with all kinds of tools, technologies and techniques to create all kinds of products that reflect their understanding of concepts. Competence is the ability to apply content in some useful way. Rather, they are there to help teachers learn how to evaluate a movie, the script, the lighting, the green screens, the pacing — skills above and the traditional writing of the script.
But if we want our students to be competent, we need to rethink assessment and evaluation. This is about designing learning opportunities for qualitative formative assessment - self assessment — team assessment - culminating assessment - assessment of what has been learned within the context of a real time, real world problem Our task is not to do a better job of teaching a curriculum designed for preparing students for life and work the 19th or 20th century. Rather our task to design a different way of teaching designed for preparing students for life,mlearning and work in the 21st Century.
And if we are willing to acknowledge this - if we are willing to meet the digital generation half way - if we are willing to acknowledge and embrace their world, as we expect them to embrace ours, we will set them free. And in doing so, we will be able to leverage their digital lifestyle and help each and every one of them become better, more engaged, more independent learners. We live in amazing times, remarkable times, overwhelming times this was beautifully summarized by philosopher Alfred North Whitehead year ago when he wrote:.
It is the business of the future to be dangerous. The major advances in civilization are processes that all but wreck the societies in which they occur. Alfred North Whitehead. And remember that today the long term is measured not in terms of centuries, or decades but in years and sometimes months, weeks, days and hours. Our biggest challenge is and will continue to be comprehending and accepting the scale of change.
And when we do this, we run the risk of ending up crashing headlong into the future. This is perfectly summarized by the great philosopher Erik Hoffer when he wrote:. In times of radical change the learners inherit the earth while the learned find themselves perfectly equipped for a world that no longer exists.
Erik Hoffer. Our greatest fear is that at this moment, despite our very best efforts, we are doing a terrific job of preparing our children for year and we may be being optimistic in saying that. So what have we being trying to do to you with this handout. At the end of our presentations, we take a large rubber band and we stretch it out and hold it there.
So how do you get a rubber band to stretch and stay stretched? There are several things you can do. You can wrap it around something, you can heat it, you can freeze it, you can rub it with a solvent to change the chemical composition. The interesting thing is that even after all that effort, when you release the pressure the rubber band still tries to go back to where it was in the beginning. You see, intellectually we all understand that the world has changed. We nod our heads, and agree that things are different. The rubber band effect occurs when your mind recoils from the discomfort of new ideas that are outside your past experience.
We tend to unconsciously revert to the status quo and go back to doing things the way we always have. It is a predictable phase that all people go through when dealing with change. You will experience it today, tomorrow or sometime in the near future when you realize the true implications of the new ideas that have been discussed. And remember, staff development without follow-up is malpractice. Do you want to read more about this? Handouts, articles, funny photos, reading list, great links and the Committed Sardine Blog which is read by more than 75, people around the planet.
All other uses, transmissions and duplications are prohibited unless permission has been expressly granted. Johnson, a regular contributor to Wired magazine, points out despite popular belief that electronic media is "dumbing down" society, IQs in the developed world have risen three points a decade for the past years. For Johnson, pop culture is like algebra class. Whether you remember the quadratic equation as an adult is less important than whether you learned the analytic thought processes that solving equations teaches.
Today's pop culture, he writes, builds on rules established by earlier pop culture as, say, The Simpsons complicated the sitcom genre. And new formats such as DVDs make audiences more receptive to complex creations that reward repeat viewing or playing. A traditionalist could say that new media are simply good at teaching children to use new media, but Johnson argues persuasively that they also force children "to think like grownups: analyzing complex social networks, managing resources, tracking subtle narrative intertwining, recognizing long-term patterns.
This is the world and the mindset of No Child Left Untested. The role of the right side of the brain, which handles pattern analysis, big picture thinking, intuition and the like, has long been undervalued and misunderstood in our right-brained society. In fact, at one time the right brain was considered to be the 2nd rate side of the brain. But as Pink points out, just about anything that requires right brain thinking can be automated, turned into software, or outsourced to the third world. Pink talks about our emerging world where critical thinking, problem solving, and a deep level of information fluency - in other words using the whole new mind - is increasingly more highly valued than simple content recall Just as information workers surpassed physical laborers in economic importance, Pink claims, the workplace terrain is changing yet again, and power will inevitably shift to people who possess strong right brain qualities.
His advocacy of "R-directed thinking" begins with a bit of neuroscience tourism to. Suddenly, even the brightest and most cooperative students become argumentative and distracted. The good news is there are ways you can navigate these abrupt shifts and still be an effective teacher.
Recent neuroscience findings have revealed that the teenage brain is actually undergoing developmental changes that can cause extremely erratic behavior. Then, chapters two through six answer questions about specific characteristics of the teenage brain that seem most puzzling to teachers and parents— changes in cognition, the need to socialize, difficulty communicating ideas and feelings, building a self-identity and why some teens engage in risky behavior.
With the proper tools, teaching teens has never been more rewarding! Here is a look at an essential part of American youth that goes beyond a mere chronicle to engage all of the political, social, and cultural implications of video games. Herz Surfing the Internet, eschews a historical point of view for a free-associating meditation on the video game culture that, by her calculations, has engulfed one-fifth of our population.
Gulf War. Herz adroitly examines the gender gap in video game development, citing political feminists' scholarly critiques of Ms. Pac Man and Frogger, and her research shines in her strong study of characterization in video games, as she traces the connections between Japanese comic-book anime and the popularity of a certain Italian-American plumber named Mario. This otherwise smart and entertaining read ends a bit too abruptly during a discussion of how computer simulation approximates reality. Nevertheless, Joystick Nation will please its citizenry. Pity the poor neurologists of yesteryear, saddled as they were with their conviction that our brains are hardwired after childhood.
Technology such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, Restak begins, can now demonstrate that as a musician practices for He then moves to a profound implication, namely that all kinds of technological stimuli are forging brain circuits that may hurt us instead of helping us. For instance, he cites correlations between positron emission tomography scans of violent people and normal experimental subjects who are simply thinking about fighting, then asserts that repeated viewing of violence on television and in video games can set up brain circuits that make us more likely to initiate real world fisticuffs.
Unfortunately, such brain imaging may leave more questions than answers. As Restak himself points out, the technology does not provide "neurological explanations," just "important correlations. He reminds us of the antidote, though: we are still in control of what we allow ourselves to see and hear. In the end, Restak fails to create a sense that scientists have revealed a new way of understanding the brain. And the images that inspire speculation in the book still await research that may finally reveal the mechanisms of such phenomena as memory and aggression.
James Paul Gee begins his new book with "I want to talk about vide games--yes, even violent video games--and say some positive things about them. Gee is interested in the cognitive development that can occur when someone is trying to escape a maze, find a hidden treasure and, even, blasting away an enemy with a high-powered rifle. Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life By Steven Johnson Using a mix of experiential reportage, personal storytelling, and fresh scientific discovery, Steven Johnson describes how the brain works -- its chemicals, structures, and subroutines -- and how these systems connect to the day-to-day realities of individual lives.
For a. The possibility entertained in this book is that you can follow another path, in which learning about the brain's mechanics can widen one's self-awareness as powerfully as any therapy or meditation or drug. Along the way, Johnson explores how we "read" other people, how the brain processes frightening events and how we might rid ourselves of the scars those memories leave , what the neurochemistry is behind love and sex, what it means that our brains are teeming with powerful chemicals closely related to recreational drugs, why music moves us to tears, and where our breakthrough ideas come from.
Johnson's clear, engaging explanation of the physical functions of the brain reveals not only the broad strokes of our aptitudes and fears, our skills and weaknesses and desires, but also the momentary brain phenomena that a whole human life comprises. Why, when hearing a tale of woe, do we sometimes smile inappropriately, even if we don't want to? Why are some of us so bad at remembering phone numbers but brilliant at recognizing faces? Why does depression make us feel stupid? To read Mind Wide Open is to rethink family histories, individual fates, and the very nature of the self, and to see that brain science is now personally transformative -- a valuable tool for better relationships and better living.
Three years after the original publication of Playing the Future: What We Can Learn from Digital Children in , this breathlessly polemical defense of the techno- savvy youth culture of the '90s already reads like a document from another era. Back then the Internet was still a strange new force, instinctively embraced by children who'd grown up playing video games, instinctively distrusted by the grownups who ran the mainstream media.
And Douglas Rushkoff here supplies both in abundance. His argument: contemporary "screenagers," as he calls them, aren't being warped by new technologies, they're adapting to them. But even nowadays, when the heated rhetoric that met the first wave of digital culture is generally giving way to more nuanced analysis, there's something contagious about Rushkoff's passionate faith that the children are all right. He may not convince you, but after this intellectual joy ride is over, that may not matter. Like any good child of the '90s, you'll want to believe.
Brown Editor , Rodney R. Cocking Editor. Learning is such a natural thing for humans. However, beyond the universal aspects of human learning, it becomes a very individual experience. Unfortunately, that is what the public education strategy has been since it was implemented. Therefore, a public education was designed to be one that tried to mold everyone into the same final product using a standard approach to learning.
The first step, described in detail in the book, is to understand that a newborn baby possesses more ability to learn that was ever realized before. Once experiments were developed that made it possible to measure feedback from infants, it was learned that they were far more aware of their world than previously thought. This is important, in that it demonstrates an important aspect of fundamental patterns of learning. This tends to create an emphasis on rote memorization, stifles learning, This holds for all animals, from rats to humans.
While technology can be a tremendous aid, it is not a cure-all. Like all strong medicine it must be administered in intelligent doses. That point is also covered very well in the book. One other very interesting point dealt with cultural differences. This is a very important book for all people involved in education.
The educational tactics that served us well in the past are no longer appropriate. That report presented an illuminating review of research in a variety of fields that has advanced understanding of human learning. The report also made an important attempt to draw from that body of knowledge implications for teaching.
These two individual reports were combined to produce an expanded edition of How People Learn National Research Council, We refer to this volume as HPL. Distinguished researchers who have extensive experience in teaching or in partnering with teachers were invited to contribute the chapters. The principles of HPL are embedded in each chapter, though there are differences from one chapter to the next in how explicitly they are discussed. Taking this next step to elaborate the HPL principles in context poses a potential problem that we wish to address at the outset.
At the same time, however, many of the specifics of a particular example could be replaced with others that are also consistent with the HPL principles. In looking at a single example, it can be difficult to distinguish what is necessary to effective teaching from what is effective but easily replaced. To say that the Golden Gate Bridge is a good example of a suspension bridge does not mean it is the only, or the best possible, design for a suspension bridge.
The chapters in this volume highlight different approaches to addressing the same fundamental principles of learning. It would be ideal to be able to provide two or more "HPL compatible" approaches to teaching the same topic for example, the study of light in elementary school. However, we cannot provide that level of specific variability in this already lengthy volume.
How the Brain Learns has always focused on the information that can help teachers turn research on brain function into practical classroom activities and lessons. The second edition still includes basic brain facts that can help students learn, insights on how the brain processes information, and tips on maximizing retention using "down time. An updated Information Processing Model that reflects new terminology regarding the memory system Exciting new research on how the brain learns motor skills A whole new chapter on the implications of the arts in learning An expanded list of primary sources for those who wish to review the core research All the newest information and insights are included.
Sousa How the Brain Learns to Read presents what scientists have uncovered about how children develop spoken language and use spoken language abilities when learning to read. Best-selling author David Sousa explores source material on brain research and provides scores of practical reading strategies for the K classroom. Reading is essential for success in our society. Now from the author of the best-selling How the Brain Learns comes a new book dealing with special needs students. How the Special Needs Brain Learns helps you turn research on the brain function of students with various learning challenges into practical classroom activities and strategies.
The first step for students with learning disabilities is helping them to build self esteem by teaching them how to work in groups and giving them strategies for engagement and retention. This book focuses on the most common challenges to learning for many students, especially for those who are often the first candidates for special education referral, and emphasizes lifelong independent learning, increased retention, and cognitive flexibility for all. Sousa builds on the latest brain research to discuss teaching strategies for students challenged by:. Offering real strategies for real classrooms, How the Special Needs Brain Learns is an indispensable tool for all educators, school administrators and teachers, staff developers, pre-service educators, and even parents who want to better understand the way their children process and retain information.
Through the clever analogy of The Wizard of Oz, Marilee Sprenger provides invaluable information about cognitive research and shares simple tactics for implementing these ideas in the classroom. This user-friendly guide effectively discusses expert findings about brain growth, structure, and functions to help teachers and administrators foster a love of learning in all students. By creating an enriched, brain-compatible environment as outlined in this book, educators can effectively counter such existing negative influences as stress, sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, and a genetic predisposition to disorders in order to cultivate successful lifelong learning.
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