Going Native

A light late summer rain dusting my shoulders, and Wouter and I chat over a few drinks…..there is something lovely about connecting to people, who honor and are willing to fall in your enthusiasm for a topic, and in tandem explore and share some ideas…. My conversation with Wouter spilled into a flurry of thoughts and ideas which only seemed comfortable residing in my blog……. Since this conversation I have been thinking and toying with an idea with the class Information Technology and Media Literacy Explorations I am teaching. This all seems ot have started in the last week with a series of online journal responses have hit a nerve….

Partly due to my own articles being published and while reading it them over, revisiting the issue that Mark Prensky covers so effectively: Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants.

One of my students responds to the following questions:

What aspect of the class have you found challenging (give examples?)

The aspect of the class that I found challenging was to work independently and quietly on one project. The projects require concentration and being independent.

Why has this been challenging?

Working independently and being focused on one thing at one time has been a challenge because usually at home when I work, I have the internet and my computer, I have music on, I am doing instant messenger, or talking on my cell phone. Having to work alone, being focused on one thing, and concentrating was a challenge at first.

What strategies (give specific examples) have you used to overcome this challenge (s?)

Some ways I overcame the challenge was to try and be focused on one thing. Trying to be focused might help me really be focused and be concentrated and independent. I found out that if I focus on being independent and concentrated with my friends, television, instant messenger, music, etc.. Won’t bother me. I think that I have overcome the challenge not just at school, but at home too.

My reaction and thought to this was immediately is my teaching style, facilitation of this course and the environment I have created out of sink with the way my students actually feel they can learn in? There is no doubt as the world of broadband, cell phones, instant messaging, internet, MP3 and downloads becomes part of everyday life for my students, a gap develops with my world.

My thought is if when they are at home working on “homework” and produce surrounded with an environment of instant messaging, cell phones, music playing, jumping around multiple mediums and tasks in fragmented bursts but seemingly being able to accomplish their needed tasks……what kid of transition occurs for them when they are suddenly surrounded by a very linear, step by step process, in a multimedia poor environment found in many teaching styles and classrooms of schools today?

This has motivated me to try within the context of this class, facilitating a new environment incorporating a richer interactive atmosphere. One were I would be allowing students to listen to music when working alone with headphones. The other would be to use instant messenger more often as a regular supplement to verbal communication. Kids could access each others help with instant messenger requests. Continue to facilitate non linear process to my teaching style, creating a methodology of sharing knowledge in a workshop style. Solely have one on one interaction or small group work, with a strong jig saw puzzle framework to sharing knowledge……and stop full class lecturing!

So here I go, Do I, should I , do the kids want it? I should says the reality of the world schools seem to missing out on


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