Digital natives, Learners 2.0, a.k.a. Students. So who are we teaching?

I recently read an amazing article by Steve Wheeler on modern learners, or as he calls them – “Learners 2.0”.

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Another term that seems to have become popular is digital natives (as opposed to digital immigrants, haha). No matter what you call them, there is no denying the fact that our students learn, interact and work differently. They are the first generation of people born after the Internet, computers and technology has taken over each and every aspect of our lives. Some scholars describe them as the generation that was born after 1980. That means I am one of them, YAY! But being brought up in post-Soviet Russia, I would say that the generation straight after me, or those born after 1990 can be more accurately described as digital natives. I am more of a digital imposter myself. Yes, I feel comfortable using it all, but still get constantly embarrassed by younger students/family members who seem to need no effort whatsoever to use technology. And yes, I never ever played a computer game.

They say by 2040 the technology will completely take over all the aspects of our life… Do you feel like your lessons and resources may look out-dated in your learners eyes? What shall we, as teachers, do to make our lessons more … interactive? tech-y? accessible? all of the above? How has the use of technology affected our learners? Is their attention span getting shorter? Can they multitask effectively? Do they remember things or just remember where they store them? Is the future looking bright for textbooks? Who are we teaching, and how should we adapt?

First of all, modern learners have “the means” to learn and discover things on their own. The technology certainly empowers them, and puts the teacher in the position of a facilitator, rather than the source of information and right answers.

Secondly, the use of technology certainly changed the way we record and store information. The good old notepad and a pen may soon become the thing of the past.

How do these affect teacher – learner interaction?

More questions then answers this time, I am afraid)))

Please share your thoughts!

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