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Communicating with the natives!

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Presentation on theme: "Communicating with the natives!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Communicating with the natives!
Digital Native or Digital Immigrant? Presented by Karen Stapleton, AIS

2 Perusing and Pondering Prensky’s Premise
“Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants” Which one are you? Quick quiz. Who: Has used a real typewriter? Has used a slide projector? Had a BETA video set? Remembers when television was first introduced? Remembers when Mick Jagger was young? Used the purple ink gestetner stencils for student notes? (And got high on the fumes?) Watched a newsreel before the main feature at the cinema? OR Prints out s. In s, uses salutations, punctuation, full sentences and paragraphs etc. ie a letter! Needs a hard copy of something composed on the computer to edit it. OR draft by hand and then compose or ‘type’ onto computer? Rings people to see if they got their ! Reads instruction manuals. Shows people websites/ internet articles rather than giving them the url? Other examples??? If “Yes” to most of these then you are like to be an immigrant! = the majority of our teachers! Considering the average age of teachers in NSW is nearing 50. Lots of implications for us as educators and as IT integrators!

3 Prensky’s case for ‘the natives’ . . .
“Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach.” “A really big discontinuity has taken place A ‘singularity’ there is absolutely no going back.” “Today’s students Represent the first generation to grow up with this new [digital] technology” Our students have changed radically. NB dissemination of digital technology in the last decades of 20th century  Have spent their entire lives surrounded by and using this technology: computers, videogames, digital music players, video cams, mobile phones and other toys/tools of the digital age.. Computer games, , the Internet, mobile phones and instant messaging are INTEGRAL PARTS OF THEIR LIVES. They are IMMERSED in it. Part and parcel of their very existence. Is this the new “RENAISSANCE”????

4 Prensky’s case for ‘the natives’ . . .
“. . .today’s students think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors” “Different kinds of experiences lead to different brain structures” They are “the native speakers”: the digital world is their world; they speak its language. Because of their environment and the sheer volume of their interaction with the new technology  has impacted on how they think, process, gather, use info etc They think differently from the rest of us  they develop hypertext minds; they leap around as though their cognitive structures were parallel not sequential. Have ostensibly grown up in a different culture  therefore think about different things AND think differently. Research on the adolescent brain also concurs have unique attributes, assets and characteristics as learners: the adolescent ‘brain’ and its functioning  All about ‘making connections’ as adolescents respond to their environment Language, vocab etc is natural to them – it is their native tongue. Often what we are giving them is in our language!

5 And the rest of us? We are the immigrants!
Technology is the ‘new world’ for us. We have had to learn a new language but speak with an accent. We are not ESL students but TSL students! We keep at least one foot in the past by often speaking in an outdated language to our students. We may have learnt, adopted, become fascinated in the new technology but compared to our students we remain “digital immigrants” We have had to discover, explore, navigate and migrate to a new place. “Immigrants” (older folk!) were socialised differently  and now have to learn a new language with all its ‘cultural’ and ‘social’ ramifications (eg the ethics and etiquette involved in ICT!) So, no matter how well we adapt to our new environment, we will retain to some degree our “accent”  our practices  May use the internet for research but may not be our first port of call! Read the manual for a program rather than assume the program will teach us how to use it/or experiment and learn through ‘trial and error’. And all those other examples from the start – s etc. ESL = English as a second language TSL = Technology as a second language. AND research/scientists tell us that a language learned later in life goes into a different part of the brain! Speak in outdated language  students experiences in the classroom  we can appear to be heavily accented, unintelligible foreigners; can’t understand us. Eg “what does dial a number mean” Question: But is Prensky exaggerating?? ARE there such extreme communication problems? Is it native OR immigrant? Is there a TRANSITIONAL GENERATION who have a A FOOT IN BOTH WORLDS and are bi-lingual??

6 Digital Natives Digital Immigrants
Used to receiving information FAST (“twitch speed”) Used to ‘instantaneity’/interactivity Function best when networked Like to parallel and multi-task Prefer graphics before their text Prefer random access (like hypertext) and non-linear learning Thrive on instant gratification and frequent rewards. Prefer ‘games’ to serious work. Can learn listening to music, watching TV HAVE little patience for lectures Are used to learning by a slow pace, methodical, step by step, one thing at a time, linear process and structure. See learning as serious not fun Single task focused Need ‘silence’ or a ‘study’ atmosphere Assume their students haven’t changed and can learn by what worked for them. AND??? INSTANTANEITY of hypertext, downloaded music, phones in their pockets, a library in their laptops, beamed messages and instant messaging. Have been networked most of their lives. Don’t like the “tell-test” approach. (See Ferris Bueller film extract of teacher questioning – anyone? anyone? – fill in the blanks questioning - disengagement) Today’s learners are different. Like to be active/involved/ INTERACTIVITY Question: Are natives and immigrants this polarised in reality? Do our students fit this profile?

7 Retention rates are important.
Link to enduring understandings - discussion, practice, teach others. What our ‘native’ students respond to and how they learn. Process PLUS Learning Environment (resources needed for teaching others, practising etc.) SO, HOW DO TEACHERS perceive THEMSELVES and teaching ?? For some visual representations of self-perceptions of trainee teachers see Pendergast and Bahr, 2005, Teaching Middle Years, Allen & Unwin. p

8 Prensky recommends . . . Learning to communicate in their language
Changing our methodology  going faster, less step-by-step and more parallel, random access Incorporating both “Legacy” and “Future” content Learning “new stuff” and “learning new ways to do old stuff” We need to be inventive. eg take a lesson from computer games! Legacy content (old systems)  our “traditional” curriculum  reading/writing, arithmetic, understanding writings and ideas of the past (very much PRINT??) Future content  digital and technological; software/hardware, robotics etc PLUS ethics, politics, sociology, languages to go with them. Computer games  simulate how they teach and how students learn from them. See James Gee’s research and work on “literacy” and “learning” from video games. Turn the learning into a video game = Digital Native methodology. See Prensky’s examples. WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF VIDEO/COMPUTER GAMES THAT WE CAN HARNESS FOR OUR LESSONS??

9 What does this mean for the teachers?
Personal impact – we have to change; more flexibility Adolescence is a distinct phase; they need to have distinctly different learning experiences. Personal ‘vision’ and understanding of how it is different. Change for the teacher as much as the adolescent learner. Pedagogical content knowledge to inquiry/curiosity/discovery Reconsider our methodology Static questions to dynamism, recursivity and discursivity Basically, teaching the current generation of students means CHANGE for the teacher!! Part of the flexibility of approach needed; picking up on cues from students. Current teachers in fact need to reconstruct themselves and reflect on how they ‘see’ themselves as teachers and review ‘how they teach’ and how students may ‘view’ them. New approaches needed for a better ‘fit’ with our students. Many ‘switched off’ and bored by traditional approaches. Need to accommodate the many skills the new technologies have actually enhanced in the students. This change predominantly seems to be in making the shift from pedagogical content knowledge to pedagogical inquiry and curiosity, from static questions to dynamism, recursivity and discursivity (allowing digressions).

10 Impact and implications
Changing the learning environment e.g. Physical classroom layout, set up, organisation Use of technology and other resources/ multimodal Differentiation and “message abundancy”; pathways for learning Group work and teaching strategies/methodology Not just about the physical layout and access to technology /computers etc. But lessons need also to simulate how computers work/the interactivity, randomness, multilayering/multitasking/ instantaneity Teachers to reconsider the “style” and “form” of their lessons too.

11 Impact and implications
New expectations FROM students; new modes of learning “The young person who watches digital TV, downloads MP3 music onto a personal player, checks on a personal organiser and sends symbolised messages to a mobile phone of a friend will not be satisfied with a 500-word revision guide for Physics.” Maureen Walsh, “Literacy in the age of technology”, EQA, Issue One, Autumn, 2004 Have grown up in a multimedia and multimodal environment. NB often have access to more sophisticated technologies outside of the school environment!!

12 Impact and implications
New modes of language – viewing/representing New multimodal texts and communications require new literacies; a paradigm shift New terminology suggests change and development New language, vocabulary and spelling/abbreviation (See Walsh article, Cambridge Dictionary study pages.) New ‘assessment’ processes to take account of the changes in students’ texts and capabilities. N.B. Prensky acknowledges there is a loss of “reflective” practices Walsh  students of today live in an environment that is permeated with visual, electronic and digital texts = new types of texts and new literacies required for these! Textual shift AND a paradigm shift  new belief that “literacy” is more than reading and writing of print! New types of texts require different conceptualisations and different ways of thinking/processing and “articulation” Terminology: multiliteracies, new literacies, multimodality, digital literacy, media literacy, cultural literacy, technoliteracy, silicon liteacy, hypermodality Vocabulary - new verbs: googling/googled texting etc Multimodal communication how learning is occurring for students and in different curriculum areas!!! Link to assessment strategies. Prensky  One key area that appears to have been affected by digital natives reprogramming/rewiring process is REFLECTION. Need to invent ways and include reflection and critical thinking in the learning but in a Digital Native way! Reflection –> enables us to generalise, to create ‘mental models’ from our experience; = in many ways is the process of learning from experience.

13 Current research and visual literacy
Interpreting visual images Current research and visual literacy Multimodal texts and the complex relationship between verbal/visual semiotics Multimedia/multimodal texts  multiple meanings and discourses; new ways of communication Gunther Kress  reading images is different process from reading words Multimodal texts are those texts that have more than one ‘mode’ so that meaning is communicated through a synchronisation of modes. That is, they may incorporate written language and images, still or moving, they may be produced on paper or electronic screen and may incorporate sound. Impact on MEANING and INTERPRETATION. eg picture books, magazines, film/video, websites and digital media. Need a new semiotic (study of signs and symbols) theory of multimodality rather than a theory of linguistics! NB Visual texts  are impacting on neural networks and changing conceptual schemata - impact on our learning of how we read and process visual texts/multiple meanings, layering, alternatives/options Gunther Kress has researched the growing dominance of multimodal texts and digital technology and HOW they are ‘read’. See Kress and Van Leeuwen, Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design)

14 Interpreting visual images
Gunther Kress and Theo van Leeuwen Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design ‘logic of words’ = time, sequence, clause structures. Words “tell” the world in a linear, sequenced way ‘logic of image’ = arrangement, display, salient elements. Images “show” the world in a non-linear, non-sequential, simultaneous way Kress’ work emphasises how the reading of visuals involves quite a different process than the reading of words. With writing, words rely on the ‘logic of speech’ involving time and sequence whereas the ‘logic of the image’ involves the presentation of space and simultaneity. Important for studying visual texts - websites, advertisements, picture books, film etc PLUS consider screenplay writing = words used to “show” the action not just tell it.

15 Implications for the IT integrator?
Who are YOUR students? What do they need to learn? How will they learn it? How will you teach it? What are YOUR priorities? What are THEIRS? Are you a TSL teacher or an IT integrator? Or both? Good luck!

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