Saturday, 20 December 2008

Entrenchment part 2.

Earlier I wrote about the "entrenched" digital immigrant (or native?) who has adopted a closed set of digital technologies and is unable to move out of this closed world.
An obvious question that follows this might be - what digital technologies SHOULD the up-to-date educator be using as part of his pedagogical tool-kit?
I found this hard to answer.
The reason was that, in the context of the traditional classroom with a traditional teacher-led environment and students with traditional ways of being engaged (verbally, reading off whiteboard or projected image, responding on paper and handing that in, etc), the options are very limited.
Sure you can show a clip, hear an audio file, work together on a projected printed document, work in small groups to provide a response, etc. But there is a real barrier to other digital ways of being engaged.
I observed the way that my 12th graders were working just recently. Only 5 of the 17 were working traditionally (on paper). The remaining 12 were working on their laptops. They were typing the project into a word processor and doing some research on-line.
Without the whole class having access to their own personal digital/web interaction device, it is unlikely that we would bring any further digital technologies into play in a meaningful way.
Perhaps "entrenched" is an unfair label. More "unable to move forward" might be better.
The point being that, with a whole class of students each with their own personal digital/web interaction device, there is not much that the students can do digitally.
It is obvious, I know.
Oh, the only satisfactory personal digital/web interaction device which allows easy input and an appropriate visual output, at this moment, is the laptop/notebook.

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