Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Partnering with Your Digital Native Students - Marc Prensky

Session #2 - Marc Prensky - Partnering with Your Digital Native Students

Three threads:
  1. changing students
  2. Differentiated student-centered teacher coached instruction
  3. Rapidly changing technology
Who are today's students?
  • Shaped by environment - which is accelerating change.
  • Already live with radical change across our lives. This can be threatening/scary. This fear can lead to protect what we know and value.
  • current students will see rapid expansion of technology in their lives. Sci-fi.
  • new tools coming at us quickly - come and go quickly. Need to be nimble to keep up.
  • kids not like us anymore
Role of teacher
  • prepare kids for a future we don't know.
  • adaptable/changing teaching styles to hold interest
Digital Immigrants - slow task oriented pace. Foot in the past. Proprietary, doesn't share easily. Believes "real" is only face-to-face ("look-ism"). Our way is the right/only way.
Teach by delivering content, linear
Digital Natives - "twitch" (thumb) speed, play/game oriented, parallel processing, connected, graphics, digital. Don't have knowledge, capabilities - have "no-fear attitude." Looks at new things as positive. Still need to be taught.
Kid learn by engagement, gaming random access

"It's not attention deficit - I'm just not listening!"
"Engage me or enrage me." EOE

Engagement is changing.
10 things students want:
  1. respect, opinions valued and count
  2. follow interest passion
  3. create
  4. do NOT want to be lectured
  5. work with peers group work/projects
  6. express/share opinions
  7. make decisions, share control
  8. connect with peers in class and around the world
  9. cooperate and compete with each other
  10. education that is not just relevant but REAL
"Learning and engagement comes from passion and not discipline." - Nicholas Negroponte

Examples of Engagement & Competition:
FIRST Robotics - big robotics competition, great program.
Dimension M - math competition, kids screaming for MATH!

Nouns = Tools (these tools change so we can't become attached to any one tool)
Verbs = Skills (stay the same: presenting, communicating, learning, etc.)
Students need most up to date nouns/tools to build skills they will need in early 21st century. A birthright.

Do digital tools lead automatically to learning - no. That's where teachers come it and are important. Needs to be well -ntegrated into learning process.

How should we teach? Consensus on the goal emerging.
Old way - taught from front of room.
New way - teach themselves with teachers as coaches/guides = partnering, Problem-Based Learning - lots of terms that mean the same thing.
Immigrants and Natives need to partner in a new way.

Role of Teacher
Transition from Lecturer/Ruler to Coach/Partneranalogy: farming. Plants grow themselves, farmers provide the right conditions the plants need. "Cultivation". Where are you on continuum? Motivate and support those who haven't started moving.
"My teachers just talk and talk and talk."
Teachers need to prepare for exams, but also for unkown future, passions, problems of the future, new forms of information.

Role of Technology
To support new partnering pedagogy of kids teaching themselves with teacher guidance. Until we transition technology will get in the way. Must change how teachers teach.

Step 1: Change to the Partnering Pedagogy

How do I partner with my students? Share the work. Let kids do what they do well, and let teachers do what they do well: asking questions, quality, rigor, context, evaluate for quality and context

5 Keys for Partnering
  1. Think "people" and "partners" not classes.
  2. Remember "the givens" Provide guiding questions, foucus on verbs, use appropriate nouns, let kids use technology.
  3. Let students create.
  4. Always be REAL (not just relevant) by connecting to student passions. Allows us to answer question "Why do I have to learn this?"
  5. Keep getting better. Keep iterating.
How should teachers use tech tools? They shouldn't waste time learning to create with new tools. Let the students do it. Don't try to keep up with new technology, let the kids use the technology and get up in the front of the room. "Video is the new text." Let kids make video, it is how they are learning. Evaluate kids with their tools, like cell phones - open phone tests!
Change is scary and many teachers are scared of change and loss of control.
Feel the fear and do it anyway = Courage. ENCOURAGE colleagues to change.
School = Credentials
After School = Real learning for kids
Dark side of school = keeping kids in school so their parents can work

Engage with students about their learning and listen to what they say.

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