Pay Attention: Digital Learners

An interesting video that might get some conversation going about how our students learn and why. This is a conversation that we need to have on an ongoing basis in our schools, because I’m not sure some educators (in my world, anyway) really “get” it.

There’s an old saying that if you keep doing what you’ve always done, then you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten. I’m not sure that’s true with our students anymore. I believe that if we keep teaching in the same way we’ve taught in the past, we will end up with disengaged young people who are not prepared for their life in the 21st century–in the flat world.

Here’s the video by Darren Draper at T-4 Jordan School District (Utah). His list of resources is a great supplement to the video as well–the video is posted on that page as well.

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  1. There are a lot of good videos out there! I’ll see if I can start showing these before the staff meetings in the fall.I don’t know that I would suggest that cell phones should be used. In my middle school, they aren’t ubiquitous yet. In some areas of technology, we have this issue of the gap of students that can’t afford the technology. How do I justify online learning requirements when students don’t have access to a computer at home? I get around by saying that there is time in class, homeroom, and lunch. If that fails, then they can always go to the public library. So far I have kept my assignments short and simple, many can be completed in 20. As a teacher how do I ensure access to technology? How can I take online learning to the next level if some of my students don’t have what they need at home?Podcasting is something I’m looking at for the fall. Because of a schedule change, we won’t have live news broadcasts in the morning. I’m thinking of producing a school news podcast for the students. If the podcast goes well, then maybe I can talk teachers into doing some instructional podcasts.

  2. These are all good questions that I think most of us are rolling around in our brains these days. The question of the digital divide that you describe is an important issue in library literature right now (& has been for a while). In part, libraries can address this issue in a way that few other programs can in the school setting simply by having the facility remain open and accessible after school hours and/or on weekends/in summer. This does not <>solve<> the problem because the very students that need access the most are more likely to have no transportation to get home if they stay late to work in the library. And the question of funding for the library to be open extra hours is also a sticky one. In fact, the ALA guidelines as well as my state guidelines encourage just such a solution–access outside regular school hours. However, few public schools (in my area, at least) have found a way to utilize such a schedule. I know it’s not feasible for all schools at this point either, but I do think that successful 1-to-1 laptop programs and the promise of the $100 student laptop lend credence to the argument that, to prepare our students for their future, we need the appropriate tools in our schools <>today<>.Podcasting has my attention for next year too. Since I don’t have a class of students to call my own, šŸ™‚ I am thinking about podcasting through my library club instead. Perhaps book reviews, podcasts about events in the school/library, etc. I think your school news podcast would be great! As a parent, I would have loved that sort of ongoing information from my daughter’s school. That’s especially true for secondary grades, because I’ve found that the older my daughter gets (she’s a HS sr. this year), the less information & outreach there has been for parents. You’re right–it’s a good way to familiarize the faculty too, so they’ll (hopefully) want to do it in their classrooms!Yeah you!

  3. Annet

     /  July 25, 2007

    Keep me posted on your podcasting endeavor. It sounds like a great idea. I’d love to be involved.


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