Sunday, November 20, 2011

How Digital Learners Prefer to Learn

I have started reading Understanding the Digital Generation: Teaching and Learning in the New Digital Landscape by Jukes, McCain, and Crockett.  I am through the first four chapters and the distinction they make between how digital learns prefer to learn and how many teachers prefer to teach really made me think about how we are instructing.

Digital Learners Prefer:

  • receiving information quickly from multiple multimedia sources
  • processing pictures, sounds, and video before text
  • to network simultaneously with many others
  • learning just in time
  • instant gratification with immediate and deferred rewards
  • learning that is relevant, active, instantly useful, and fun
Is this going on in your classroom?
  • slow and controlled release of information
  • text provided before anything else
  • students working independently before they interact
  • teaching stuff just in case they may see it on a test
  • delayed rewards
As I continue the read this book it is apparent that I, and many teachers, have not had the training needed to incorporate what the research tells us about how the digital brain functions. 

We are in the process of incorporating the Gradual Release of Responsibility as our instructional model, and I see this as a step in the right direction of having our learning opportunities be more relevant and engaging to the students.  I see PLCs as a big piece of this as well.  Whether we will admit it or not we have too many standards.  This leads to the "teach it just in case" scenario.  That is about teaching - not learning and that is not goo for kids!!  PLCs allow teams to narrow their focus on what is important and creating learning opportunities that are rich and authentic.

My goal is to figure how to support teachers and narrow the gap between digital learning styles and teachers' non digital perspective about teaching, learning, and assessment.

TIES Conference 2011 here I come :)

1 comment:

  1. One of the hardest skills as a experienced teacher is to change from the way we best learn. Most of our teachers learned in the old model, and their teaching style reflects their learning style. It takes effort and energy to adapt to the Digital Learner. Great job explaining the students here!

    See you at TIES!