For My EdTech 537 class we were asked to read three articles. The first was by Prensky, the second by McKenzie, and the third by Reeves. In each of the these readings, According to our professor, here are the generalizations that came out of them:
1. while the theory of generational differences exists and is a valid theory, there is no research at present that indicates instructional designers should modify instruction or instructional strategies to accommodate today’s generation of students
2. there is no reliable and valid research to support the belief that technology has somehow changed today’s generation of students
3. further to the fact that Prensky’s notion of digital natives isn’t based on research, McKenzie does a convincing job of illustrating how Prensky even misused the anecdotal “evidence” that he presents to support is beliefs
4. the only thing that can be said about today’s student, based upon reliable and valid research, is that they are more narcissistic than any previous generation.
While the supposed data is not their to back up the statement that technology has changed how our students are learning, I would like you to meet Dr. Jane McGonigal. Since I travel quite a bit, I have been able to see her speak on multiple occasions. Here are some facts from a presentation of hers I have seen. In the US., 99% of boys under 18 and 94% of girls play video games regularly, 92% of two year old play games, (usually on an iPad or other type of tablet), and by the age of 21, these children would have played 10,000 hours of video games.
Whether you like these stats or not, you have take them into consideration. While research out there might not yet be available, many studies are beginning conducted on this. You can also look at the Flipped Learning Network for current research of the Flipped Classroom. Data that did not exist to long ago.
What we as teachers need to understand is this: Our students brains are geared more for “epic wins” and visual stimuli than in years past. More and more kids are playing games like Minecraft that allow students to create and make their own adventures. Where is this in your classroom? Do you allow students to create? If not, then your students are not getting enough out of school and they seem more disengaged. If you allow them to create, they will be more engaged!
George Phillip is a social studies teacher and designer.
Ramsey Musallam - www.cyclesoflearning.com
Karl Lindgren-Streicher -
Josh Stumpenhorst -
Jason Bretzmann -
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