Prensky Intro and Chapter 1

1. Discuss the apparent contradiction of the video “I Need My Teachers To Learn” and Prensky’s comments that “teachers do not need to learn to use it (technology) themselves.” How could you compare the ultimate goal of both approaches? Your opinion? Prensky contends that “teachers do not need to learn to use technology themselves”, but that they should put the technology in the hands of the experts, the students (Prensky, 310). The future of our children depends on them knowing how to navigate all aspects of information; how to access it, understand it, and be able to create with it. Children are already doing things with the information they gain unlike anything we adults can conceive for that age group. Teachers and parents, Prensky argues, are better equipped to coach, guide, provide understanding, and enforce expectations for the caliber of student learning (Prensky, 702). In comparison, the “I Need my Teachers to Learn” video reflects the perception that teachers must learn to use technology in order to teach. The video also suggests that a student’s potential for learning is compromised due to the resistance of educators to use technology for instruction as well as the establishing and enforcing consequences for the students’ use of technology to reach larger audiences (Honeycutt). The ultimate goal for both scenarios is that children be able to use the skill set they acquire in order to build knowledge that will better them for the future. Prensky believes that technology in the hands of the students is the best avenue to travel as opposed to the “I Need my Teachers to Learn” video, which suggests that teachers need to get ‘on board’ with technology. Similarly, Pesky feels that teachers should not ‘do’ technology for students, but rather design engaging learning activities that will inspire students to seek to understand. I feel that it really needs to be a combination of both philosophies. I believe educators need a working knowledge of technology so that he/she can trouble shoot and solve minor tech issues should they arise. Also, I think that if a teacher has a comfort level of utilizing technology, he/she will be more likely to encourage the students’ use of technology for the purpose of learning. On another point, I am in a new facility that boasts the newest technology for instruction. However, educators become quickly frustrated when technology ‘does not work’ and the instruction comes to a ‘screeching halt’. This frustration leads to hesitance and an avoidance of technology use for teaching and learning. The ’21st Century Classroom’ needs to be better defined as to who will be utilizing the technology and for what purpose, teaching or learning?

REFERENCES

Honeycutt, K. (2011, January 1). I Need my Teachers to Learn. [Video file]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBxdcJMNI1k&noredirect=1

Prensky, M. (2010). Teaching Digital Natives: Partnering for Real Learning, e-version.
Thousand Oaks, CA, Corwin

2. Discuss one main point that Prensky poses in this week’s readings and provide links to two or more articles, websites, videos, blogs, podcasts, etc. that contribute to this point. One main point presented by Prensky in the reading is the concept of partnering. Partnering occurs when the student and teacher take on more specialized roles in the classroom in order to increase student learning. One goal of a 21st century classroom is to provide an environment experience the students will encounter as modern-day employees (Edutopia, 2014). In order for this to occur, teachers must strategize new ways to reach students. Students should encounter technology in order to illicit higher-level thinking, learn how to collaborate, and develop good communication skills. According to Saomya Saxena, The role of the teacher must evolve and transition the teacher from a lecturer to facilitator (Ed Tech Review, 2013). This relates to Prensky’s strategy of having the teacher take on the role of coach and guide. In the same regard, the students must become more active in their role as learners. Students must become active, adaptive learners according to how quickly they grasp new information. It is no longer acceptable for students to be passive or simply listeners. Technology is appropriate for meeting students where they are in relation to content. But the question arises, “Why do we need to consider partnering?” It is believed that without partnering, we are suffering from a waste of student resources. Children are able to do higher-level thinking and learning away from school because they posses the tools to do so. They are freely able (within reason) to pursue their passions. At school, tightly constructed restrictions encourage a wasting of resources because of student shut down. We need to work alongside our students in order to motivate learning in new ways. Partnership also requires a level of trust between the student and teacher. Student directed learning will not happen if the student is not willing to take the risk for learning or if the teacher is not willing to design instruction that supports differentiated instruction.

REFERENCES

Boss, S. (2014, April 13). 21st Century Learning Creates New Roles for Students. Edutopia. Retrieved September 25, 2014, from: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/21st-century-learning-students-parents-suzie-boss

Johnson, B. (2008, February 7). Developing Students’ Trust: The Key to a Learning Partnership. Edutopia. Retrieved September 25, 2014, from: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/student-trust-ben-johnson

Saxena, S. (2013, December 20). Top 10 Characteristics of a 21st century classroom. Ed Tech Review. Retrieved September 25, 2014, from: http://edtechreview.in/news/862-top-10-characteristics-of-a-21st-century-classroom

Wartburg College. (2009, May 22). Marc Prensky-Wartburg College Commission on Mission. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCBztboW348

3. Give one example of each component of CReaTe in Partnering and justify each example. The first component of the CReaTe framework, Cognitive Complexity, has a partnering application through the student as a technology user and expert. At Level 2 (Practicing), the framework indicates that the teacher is directing the students interaction with the content/standard at the UNDERSTAND level and APPLYING their learning. Prensky suggests that teachers should demonstrate or offer clues as to what technology should be employed then have the students use it themselves and proceed to teach each other. The Real World component has a partnering application when students are world changers. This Level 5 (Specializing) literacy involves higher-level thinking when the learning has a positive impact on a problem and involves student collaboration with experts of a discipline. Prensky offered an example of specializing when students influenced the shopping habits of their parents after the students produced a video about genetically modified foods. The Engagement component of the CReaTe framework is applied to partnering at Level 2 (Practicing). Under the direction of the teacher as a coach and guide, the students are engaged with the content performing a task and multiple solutions are accepted for this single task. Prensky proposes an example; a partnering teacher performs goal setting for the class in its entirety but allows each individual student free range (within limits) to reach those goals in his/her own way. However, the teacher will remain available for assistance if indicated or needed. The last CReaTe framework component, Technology Integration, is evident in partnering at Level 1(Knowing). The framework suggests this level of learning when a teacher uses technology for lecture or demonstration. Prensky’s partnering example of the teacher as a coach exemplifies Level 1 when the student is referred to a video or other resource in order to supplement the student’s learning.

REFERENCES

Maxwell, M. (2014). TI-1: CREaTe Excellence. 1st ed. Bowling Green: Western Kentucky University. p. CREaTe Framework

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