Tuesday, November 04, 2008

understanding digital kids

my notes from Ian Jukes presentation at the VAIS annual conference

This guy is obviously passionate about his topic and he must feel he's been pounding his head against the wall in pursuit of educating us digital immigrants about the exponential changes our kids are facing, but he's definitely a little bit nuts too. Here are the highlights I got out of his talk, unfortunately he's left the next steps in our inept hands.

he identified 3 areas of focus for digital fluency:
technological - focus on the task, not the tool
media - understand how our thinking is being shaped by media
information - ability to process readily available, sometimes inaccurate information:
- awareness of the problems with available info
- asking good questions
- accessing info
- assessing info (analyze & authenticate)
- applying info appropriately

Our kids are digital natives - digital has become their language of choice. We are digital immigrants - with all the language barriers that implies. One of the differences between digital natives & digital immigrants is that digital natives are able to parallel process information while digital immigrants process info sequentially.

He gave lots of references to the science that kids brains are actually changing because of their exposure to digital media so that they learn differently than we do, but he didn't give any concrete ideas for what that means to teaching in the classroom except to avoid TTWWADI (that's the way we've always done it):
- iBrain
- brain mapping
- the brain that changes itself
- everything bad is good for you
- brain rules

So Ian left me hoping that I'll be a good enough translator until and when the digital natives take over.

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