A Vision of K-12 Students
Students will use engaging technologies in collaborative, inquiry-based learning environments with teachers who are willing and able to use technology’s power to assist them in transforming knowledge and skills into products, solutions and new information.
(From: A Vision of K-12 Students Today)
What is a 21st Century Learner?
You may have heard the term “digital natives” to describe today’s students and “digital immigrants” to describe today’s educators. Teachers are working with students whose entire lives have been immersed in the 21st century media culture.
Today’s students are digital learners – they literally take in the world via the filter of computing devices: the cellular phones, handheld gaming devices, PDAs, and laptops they take everywhere, plus the computers, TVs, and game consoles at home.
A survey by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation found that young people (ages 8-18) mainline electronic media for more than six hours a day, on average. Many are multitasking – listening to music while surfing the Web or instant-messaging friends while playing a video game.
Even toddlers utilize multimedia devices and the Internet with tools such as handheld video games like Leapster and web sites such as www.PBSkids.org and www.Nick.com. Preschoolers easily navigate these electronic, multimedia resources on games in which they learn colors, numbers, letters, spelling, and more complex tasks such as mixing basic colors to create new colors, problem-solving activities, and reading.
However, as Dr. Michael Wesch points out, although today’s students understand how to access and utilize these tools, many of them are used for entertainment purposes only, and the students are not really media literate.
We need to use the tools to enable our students to become truly media literate as they function in an online collaborative, research-based environment – researching, analyzing, synthesizing, critiquing, evaluating and creating new knowledge!
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