The Digital Natives / Digital Immigrants Distinction Is Dead, Or At Least Dying

With thanks to Ora Baumgarten for this post:

Doug Holton writes about the discussion over the last few years regarding digital natives and with increased use of the internet, web and other technologies wonders about the relevance of a distinction being made. He questions whether persistent use of the terms has led to excusing bad teaching practices. He provides a list of relevant resources in the remainder of the post which includes criticism of the terms and also links to a number of journal articles around the topic.

Even Marc Prensky, who came up with the digital natives / immigrants distinction, wrote last year that it is at the very least growing less relevant.

The list

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Why is research vital to e-learning?

akbacademic from the University of Derby technology blog in the UK  list a series of questions which will help reflect on why research is important and how it contributes to development. The list includes

  1. What’s the connection between innovation and dinosaurs?

  2. What links Kodak, Raleigh Bicycles and the Roman Empire?

  3. When is it time for you to retire?

 

In full

 

STUDENT BLOG: Media Class Visits ASEAN BlogFest 2012

Nary Chun reports from Cambodia about a blogfest that students recently attended.

My media class went to the BlogFest because we wanted to know more about Facebook, websites, blogging and how to use them. This is because we really like to study media and want to be able to write a blogpost. In the future, media can help us to have a good job. All the students in the media class want to connect tothe Internet, because we want the people around the world to know us

The students learnt more about a range of web topics including Wikipedia and web design.

 

In full

 

Software Evaluation

Sarah Cirella shares a screencast that she recently created reviewing software games for children. There are different characters to help, objects to click, missing words to find and a series of challenges. They discussed who the game might be appropriate for – what would be important at different ages

this game requires children to be able to use a mouse or track pad and to be able to understand the story and the concept of how the game is actually played. The only thing is if the child playing is between the ages of 6-8 we would recommend that an adult play with them, as some parts can be difficult (I played with my 6-year-old niece and she needed help, despite her stating otherwise).

She mentions the things they enjoyed, the good and not so good aspects including use of language

In full

Is technology the new kid on the block?

via the Yildiz University Wired In or Out blog, a vimeo interview with Dr. Gary Motteram by the British Council Turkey.  Gary talks about the differences in his own experiences of teaching languages and the range of options available using recent technologies. The Wired In or Out blog covers the symposium with more posts to follow.

The interview

Pictures from the poster presentation session showing a range of different Turkish projects

 

More kindergartens using technology to encourage learning through play

Samantha Lee writes about a project in Singapore where children are becoming movie directors

The kids write their very own movie script for their stop-motion animation video. With a S$4,000 Innovation Grant from the Ministry of Education Singapore they bought a laptop, digital camera, projector and a screen for this project. The kids then use Lego blocks and other recycled materials as props and photographed the scenes, eventually stringing the photos together to moving illusion (like how we flipped the end of our books to create movement). Through this project, the children learn the basics of animation and understand that Television is really about moving images. They also get to be introduced to technology early in life and be comfortable with technology in future – a basic expectation we have for the generation of tomorrow.

The children use a mix of lego and other recycled materials to create the scenes.

In full, Photos on Asia one

Technology use in the classroom helps autistic children communicate

The Economic and Social Research Council report findings from Topcliffe Primary School in Birmingham. The project received a grant from the ESCRC and the EPSRC. The children are using a large multi-touch screen and explore the virtual environment, interacting with an agent called Andy. The staff were surprised at the level of social interaction.

Research shows that children with autism often find computers and technology safe, motivating and engaging, particularly in the areas of social interaction and communication. Autistic children often struggle to communicate and learn effectively, but it seems that this technology can tap into their motivation and enable them to communicate in a way in which teachers simply can’t get them to do in traditional classroom settings.

Echoes 2 project

In full

Teaching Foreign Language

Halina Ostańkowicz-Bazan blogs from Poland about different approaches used to teach and learn online. She discusses active learning and how to encourage students to become more active rather than passive recipients of lectures. She describes how blended learning can provide opportunities for students to become more engaged and take advantage of new technologies and mentions the importance of learning meaningfully.

My experience tells that I ought to practice active learning principles to progress activities for my students that best mirror my particular communication style and the topics, forms of thinking, and strategies to the problems which are needed to understand and relate to the topics. This is how I work on creating my “active learners”.

In full

The Fears of a (Mildy) Educated Layperson

On the Partikles blog, the author describes how in spite of not being able to afford to go to school, they read books, watch documentaries, learn through searching content on Wikipedia to improve their understanding of science and scientific principles. They highlight how in the US there has been a fear and distrust of science including stem cell debates, campaigning against MMR vaccines etc The author neatly notes how media have contributed to this sacrificing accuracy for entertainment

As a society we do not value education (but damn it, we value missiles!), and it shows. My fear is that we will grow generations of poorly informed people that do not check their sources, and merely believe what the talking heads say on Fox News, simply because we, as a culture, are too intellectually lazy to try and think forward.

In full