Reflections

Our current students, the digital natives of the web generation, have definitely grown up quite a bit different than my generation did.

  • As a kid, I played outside; kids today play computer games in the house.
  • As a kid, I spoke to my friends on the phone; kids today text one another.
  • As a kid, I had to go home to listen to music on my cassette player or record player; kids today pull their iPod out of their bag and put on their headphones.
  • As a kid, I played games on my Colecovision console every so often (I didn’t play it often because it took so long to pull all of the necessary components and parts out of the cabinet in order to set it up); kids today play games on their travel PSP/gameboys, cell phones, or i-Touch.

  • As a kid, I had to research academic information from “real” books or encyclopedias; kids today hop on the internet and find everything they need within minutes, sometimes seconds.
  • As a kid, I took pictures with my camera and then had to wait a week while they were getting developed before I could see them; kids today see their pictures immediately in their digital camera screen.

 

When you compare the two generations, it’s quite obvious to see that our expectations of daily life have been quite different. And as a teacher, it is my job to reach these students.

I just recently finished reading an article titled World Without Walls: Learning Well with Others by Will Richardson. He speaks about our jobs as educators, and what does it mean to be teaching the digital natives. There were some great points made, which I have quoted below:

“Anyone with a passion for something can connect to others with that same passion — and begin to co-create and colearn the same way many of our students already do.

I believe that is what educators must do now. We must engage with these new technologies and their potential to expand our own understanding and methods in this vastly different landscape. We must know for ourselves how to create, grow, and navigate these collaborative spaces in safe, effective, and ethical ways. And we must be able to model those shifts for our students and counsel them effectively when they run across problems with these tools.

Anything less is unacceptable for our kids.”

What a task … but I find it to be an exciting one! As a teacher in this day and age, we must grasp what is in front of us and run with it openmindedly. Reading articles such as these inspire me to look for new ways of doing things in the classroom that will better meet the needs of my web generation students and ultimately be a better teacher!

Wanna join this journey with me?