Monday, April 5, 2010

Understanding the Digital Generation

The book Understanding the Digital Generation by Ian Jukes, et. al. was shared with us "Committed Sardines" last month. In it there were some interesting quotes, ideas, and concepts about how to be prepared for our digital students.

Information and quotes found in the reading:

-"If digital technology continues to distract young susceptible minds at the present rate, the traditional developmental stages will need to be redefined."

- "A redefinition will also highlight a growing concern over whether important cognitive milestones are being delayed or missed entirely as kids grow up in a digital culture."

- Students are currently underdeveloped in the face-to-face interpersonal interaction.

- Students excel at multi-tasking with the detriment of other high level thinking tasks.

- Trying to multitask while trying to learn a new task "goes against our biology."

- "Essentially trying to do many things at once means we have to interrupt the brain from doing one thing to switch to do something else." This does no concrete new knowledge.

- We also need to continue to develop single task skills as well.

- Concerns with student's ability to stay and follow with a long and complex argument

- Digital generation has made students less likely to work their way through a document and more challenging opinions and arguments. Everything seems surface level.

- Students have what is called Butterfly Brain.

- Lack of physical exercise.

- Need to teach a balance of fun, work, activities, relaxation, reading, math, etc. But then again how are the lives of our parents, are they balanced?

- There's a gap between teachers knowledge and students desire. Referred to as the "Crisis of relevance." How do teachers make what they learn in school relevant?

- Brain research tells us making connections is the key to effective instruction.

- The different experiences of students today is vastly different that even the kids of 5 year ago, let alone the teachers educating them.

- Teachers and Parents have an "outdated idea of what growing up is like."

- We all need to appreciate the magnitude and speed of change that is altering modern life.

- Consider the change in dining practices. Ask your students how many of them all sit around the table for dinner, tv and phone off, talking about their day. Those days are over.

- We have a "fast-food mentality," both literally and figuratively. Everything even eating is at a break neck pace.

- Fascinating data: A week in the life of the average school aged child...
.5 hours with dad
2.6 hours with mom
2.2 hours doing homework
.5 hours reading for pleasure
25 hours watching television, playing video games, and interacting with digital devices

- Parents today spend 40% less time with their kids, than 30 years ago.

- Digital generation finds their role models and learns their social skills from the digital world.

- "They haven't just adopted social media, they've internalized it.

- Mark Presnsky describes students today as operating at "twitch speed."

- Death of patience

- Reading is a "delayed gratification medium" that our kids struggle with.

- Children today are bombarded with visual stimulation.

- Kids today "don't care how things work," there is little wonderment in the actions of the world around us.

- Kids use rapid fire trials and error learning styles.

- Because we are not digital natives (we are digital immigrants) we complain about the skills students don't have, and not appreciate the new skills we have yet to develop.

- Students brains today are "neurologically wired different than our generation."

- Our brain changes based on 2 factors
1. Input or experiences we have
2. intensity and duration of those experiences.

- Brain cells operate on a use it or lose it basis, as a result our intelligence is not fixed, we're not born smart or unintelligent.

- Daniel Pink stated that we live in a left brain society, schools have focused on that left brain. The role of the right brain has been undervalued in recent educational practices. The procedures in the left brain are items that could eventually all be automated tasks.

- Human Brain project: We are processing the very same information completely differently.

- Brainbow is a project that maps the flow of information in the brain.

- John Medina's book Brainrules states that: we remember more than 2500 pictures, with 90 percent accuracy, 72 hours after exposure. we remember only 10 percent of information given to us orally after 72 hours.

- F-pattern reading - fascinating way kids read

- 60% of learners are now visual learners or visual kinesthetic

QUESTION: "If teachers continue to do things in the classroom that we already know don't work, then who here really has the learning problem?"

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