Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ULearn10 - Keynote 1 - Lee Crockett - Understanding the Digital Generation

"Today’s world is not the world we grew up in, and today’s world is certainly not the world our children will live in. Because of the dramatic changes our world has undergone, this digital generation’s children are not the students our schools were designed for and are not the students today’s teachers were trained to teach.

This presentation examines the effects that digital bombardment, from constant exposure to electronic media, has on kids in the new digital landscape and considers the profound implications this holds for the future of education. What does the latest neuroscientific and psychological research tell us about the role of intense and frequent experiences on the brain, particularly the young and impressionable brain?

Based on the research, what inferences can we make about kids’ digital experiences and how these experiences are re-wiring and re-shaping their cognitive processes? More important, what are the implications for teaching, learning, and assessment in the new digital landscape? How can we reconcile these new developments with current instructional practices, particularly in a climate of standards and accountability driven by high-stakes testing for all? What strategies can we use to appeal to the learning preferences and communication needs of digital learners while, at the same time honoring our traditional assumptions and practices related to teaching, learning, and assessment?" Lee Crockett

Such a funny guy! Awesome keynote presentation about Understanding the Digital Generation - lots of implications for curriculum vs. National Standards vs. what my little digital natives need to learn...and the best way/s to teach them...

There is a Paradigm Paralysis in education – teachers have embedded assumptions and beliefs about teaching based on their schooling experiences.

We are living in the age of infowhelm – knowledge base is becoming digitised at a phenomenal rate, e.g. 120 years of YouTube videos are uploaded annually, google has indexed 1 trillion web pages, digital books are outselling paper books.

ipad marks a new paradigm in computing – mouse and keyboard will soon be obsolete.

What skills will students need to process overwhelming amounts of digital information? How will they be able to judge authenticity of information? Bias?

Our students see screens as a place to project their identity on to.

We, as teachers, face a different kind of student. The brains of the “digital generation” are developing differently because of the digital culture. Brains are changing physically and chemically, our students now have “hyperlinked” minds, their brains are neuroplastic (plastic and malleable). Challenging what we previously thought about brain development.

Digital natives eyes process photos 60,000 times faster than text, scan text in a different pattern (F shape), don’t like black text on white background (currently prefer red, pink or green on black or blue background). Has implications for reading texts.

Digital Generation learning profile:
- prefer to receive information quickly from multiple digital sources
- prefer parallel processing and multi-tasking
- prefer processing pictures, sounds, colour and video before text
- prefer random access to hyper-linked multimedia information
- prefer to network simultaneously with others
- prefer to learn “just in time” (standardised testing and curriculum “just in case”!)
- prefer instant gratification and instant rewards as well as delayed gratification and delayed rewards
- prefer learning to be relevant, active, instantly useful and fun

Digital multi-tasking is a fact of life now.

To students, text is there to provide clarity about an image/video. 90% recall rate of 2500 photos after 72 hours (photos seen for 10 seconds each), 63% recall rate after 1 year. No image = 10% content recall, rises to 65% if image added.

Digital generation are constantly exposed to spectacular graphics and multi-sensory experiences... so images and video are powerful enough for them to get the message – they are visually literate with highly developed visual spatial skills.

Digital generation have internalised digital tools for use – they need to be taught critical thinking to analyse these tools to find appropriate tools for appropriate purposes.

Key message: Digital generation need different skills to thrive and survive in the digital age.

21st Century Fluencies = solution fluency, information fluency, collaboration fluency, media fluency, creativity fluency.

Teachers need to be able to understand the digital generation to be able to teach the digital generation.

Blog post by Suzie Vesper on Lee's keynote.

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