A message about digital learners…

As the semester rolls on and the job search begins, I have decided I need to revisit my philosophy of education and critically examine each “I believe” statement. What do these say about me? What do they say about my future students? What limitations or opportunities have they created? Over the next couple of months I am going to be taking a look at each statement, sharing my thoughts and I would love to hear yours aswell. As I write this post I am sitting in my ECMP 355 class, so what better place to start then to examine my philosophy of technology in the classroom. Right now it reads as follows…

I believe in using technology in a variety of ways in the classroom to enhance instruction and meet the needs of a generation of digital learners.

So I am going to go ahead and dive right into the middle of this. I choose to use the term “a generation of digital learners” Is this a fair assumption? Did I write that from a white middle class perspective? There are certainly children who have no technology exposure untill they enter school. What other term could be used to describe the technological needs and skills of my future students? A new trend we are seeing is the term “technological literacy.” I think it is fair to  assume that if our role as teachers is to prepare students and give them the tools they need to become successful world citizens, we need to provide them with many chances to expand their technological literacy. But, have I cast the net to wide to say that this is a generation of digital learners?

What has this statement left out? I also believe that technology has become an integral tool for teachers to use in assessment and evaluation. I believe that students can use technology to create, share, collaborate, and explore. I shared this youtube video last year, but it seems rather fitting right now…

 

So I am stuck… how do I revise my statement? Do I revise my statement?

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5 thoughts on “A message about digital learners…

  1. As you continue your journey you will revisit your belief statements many times. This shows that you ARE reflecting, critiquing, questioning your beliefs and that is so powerful! Remember one of Kumashiro’s messages – as soon as we think we have found the right answer we need to start asking different questions. This is exactly what you are doing-a sign of a true professional who knows one thing for sure – you will always be a learner! Remember me saying….the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know. (I think you all rolled your eyes at me at that point – ha!).

    As for your belief statement, I think what you are ‘seeing’ with your critical lens is that you really want to have students engaged in meaningful learning experiences in a technology-rich learning environment where students collaborate, create, connect and have opportunities to learn in ways not otherwise possible. I think we’re beyond using the term “digital natives”….and I’m so proud that you came to that ‘aha’ on your own. We are talking about children who deserve to be explorers, wonderers in inspiring, creative spaces (and technology is a part of that space but not the focus).

  2. I think we’re fast approaching a world where all our learners will be exposed to technology both inside and outside of the classroom. My school serves a tough predominantly white working class catchment in NW UK and I think most of our children, regardless of financial background & employment, have games devices, smart phones and more, in their homes. The challenge for us as educators is to harness these experiences in school, to ensure learning in the classroom isn’t a hindrance to their real learning outside of it.

  3. I love the idea that you are challenging your thoughts, and that you are not willing to simply adopt the first “belief” for all time. Julie Ann’s comment resonated with me. You are indeed a true professional and a life-long learner. I am very proud of you, Allie!

  4. Echo the point about reflection, challenging your assumptions and its importance for a life long learner, professional etc.

    I especially like your questioning of the phrase “a generation of digital learners”. My question links with your comment about “technology has become an integral tool for teacher”. If technology is integral, or just part of what we do, then when is the time not to use a different label.

    For example, e-learning as a phrase in heavy use has been around for 10/15 years. There’s been a trend in recent years just to use learning, because there is an assumption that technology (the “e-“) is an integral part.

    It’s a bit like describing learners of 20 years ago as a generation of pen and paper learners.

    Similarly, a colleague the other idea asked the question whether it in 2012 it makes sense anymore to talk about 21st Century learners. When do we just start using learners?

    What do we lose if we drop the extra term?

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