[Live Blog] Understanding Digital Kids:Teaching and Learning in a New Digital Landscape

Kids today are different. (Referenced two new Time magazine articles.)

Evidence is emerging that screens are not for passive dysfunction. Students are native and wired differently. We are immigrants, we speak digital as a second language. We retain some kind of an accent.

Children’s brains are chemically and neurologically different. They process in parallel, not sequential like us.

Used to be assumption that by age of 3, we all had fixed memory and intellegence. What you had, you were stuck with.

Long standing assumptions are changing with research over last 3 years. Highly adaptive and malliable brain. This is huge. Brain reorganizing and restructuring based upon inputs and intensity of the inputs.

IQ raises and falls based upon the simulation we are exposed to. There is neuroplasticity, brain is creating new thinking patterns throughout our lives. It doesn’t do it by itself, requires intensive, progressively more intense, over an extended period of time.

Watching TV over several hours a day, 7 days a week, will reprogram the brain’s wiring. The impact of technology, via social networking and gaming. Now games have moved from solo experiences to networked experiences. Students pay to play (Everquest, WOW) to compete against each other. Xbox and PS3 are trying to develop this.

Brain is like a tree, early, a flury of growth. The pruning keeps fresh. Use it or lose it. Pruning, not raging hormones make teenagers what they are.

Mylian boost transmission speeds in the brain and bandwidth. If only doing one thing (academics, arts, athletics) these are the ones most developed. Argument for teaching the whole child and having regular exposure to these experiences, including technology, is crucial.

Students have greater visual processing, doing it differently.

Referenced the Human Brian Project. Neuroinformatics. Using FMRIs, researchers can research which paths are used in brain.

How different parts of the brain do simple tasks and processes information. Done more in past two years than previous 100 years.

Scientific American – The Teen Brain. (need to review)

If take different generations do same task, different pathways are used. For many tasks, different pathways, especially in visual cortex, 15% larger in the last 20 years.

Game takes 40 hours to master. Visual processing increase with 10 hours of gameplay.

3M Study- 100 photographs, digital natives will remember 90%, we would remember 60%, dinosaurs (text and audio) will only remember 10%

Eye processes images 60000x faster than text. Visual 30%, touch 8%, hearing 3%.

Eyes of students move differently, Immigrants -1/3 down and 1/3 in, the goldn mean, with a z curve, left to right.

Natives – bottom, then the sides, the the upper left hand side of the page (new layout). Unless motivated, will ignore lower right if motivated. What is the impact to the teaching of reading.

Immigrants – black on white background. Colors are not.
Natives – Blood Red, Lime Green, then burnt orange. Black least favorite.

87% of students are not auditory or text learning. Because of digital bombardment, they are digital kinestetic learners. Most exams are based on text and vocabulary.

Prensky – when reaches 21, will have played 10,000 hours of games, 20,000 hours of tv, 250,000 text or emails. These are not experiences that we have had.

How will this impact students learning? Less than 9000 hours of school, 4000 hours of reading, most of it unengaged. What need to acknowledge, think and process differently.

With younger children (teens, tweens, and younger) there is an acceleration in this process between these groups. Will help explain why they do what they do and differences in generations. Almost nothing is being applied in classrooms today.

What are the implications for schools. Talking and teaching is not the correct model. Need more inductive and constructivist methods.

Four items that need to be done:
1. New information must connect new idea to what they know, otherwise will only stay with student for 10 seconds.

2. Previous knowledge and experience defines what they learn, where they learn, and why the learn. Most school work does not interest the students. Good at real-life examples, may have problems with theoretical. Learning is personal to learner, not hte teacher.

3. Learners have to be given repeated, differentiated learning experiences. Have to practice and exposure to materials, from different perspectives and in different contexts.

4. Have to have consistent feedback and need reinforcement. Has to tell what is doing right, and then what can be done to improve.

Information without context is only like having one side of the velco. Can only occur when can make significant connections. Edgar Dales’s learning cone. After two weeks, 10 % of what read, 20% of hear, 50% of hear and see, 70% of discussion, 90% if teach to someone else, immediate application of that skill in a real-world or simulated experience. Not that ADD or ADHD, not interested and tuning us out.

Not short for interest, but the way we teach and learn.

Don’t understand how different students are. Not learners for the way the space has been built and the way we learned to teach. Who has learning problem? Not the kids.

50% of population is under 25 year old. What percentage of teachers are under 25? Part of the problem we are facing. Slow and dumb down interactions with teachers.

If we want kids to be successful, need to go beyond theory towards application. No way that we will be able to go back to basics.

Have to get involved, twit, blog, podcast, check out mySpace, faceBook, etc.

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