This digital world we live in allows us to set our alarms on our phone, have a conversation with a friend in another country, whilst checking our work emails, preparing information for our jobs and interests
Today’s students are ‘digital natives’ as described by Howell (2012 Chapter 1). They have been born in a time when technology plays a large roll in their everyday lives. Mobile technologies have created a world where we are constantly involved, connected and interactive. We have the convenience and opportunities for connecting to the outside world from the ease of a portable devices. Identifying that students often have a large digital home and personal life, wouldn’t it be more meaningful to incorporate this into their learning. In an article written by Pensky (2008) The 21st-Century Digital Learner, Pensky found that students are often not involved in planning for their learning, he states that “for any system to work successfully in these times, we must combine top-down directives with bottom-up input. As the students have told me on more than one occasion, “We hope educators take our opinions into account and actually do something!”’
It is an educator’s responsibility to ensure that each child’s learning is supported, technology plays a powerful role in supporting learning. If Gardner’s (1983) theory that all people have multiple intelligences, then as educators we need to be aware that not all children learn the same. Previously many of our education systems had a teacher teach at the front of the class while the children all sat still listening. Then technology was introduced, the first big technologies in education were the TV’s and projectors that merely “delivered” information straight to students, not unlike a standard lecture, Gardner (2010, paragraph 6). But technology has changed, we now live in a “digital world”. We can use today’s technology to support the way individual children learn by providing a range and variety of learning experiences using technology as a tool to support research, ideas and collaboration, while educators offer support and guidance to learning.
So let us teach how they will learn, and how they will learn is by using what they know and what has meaning for them. References and Sources: