Assignment # 1: Understanding Today’s Students

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2 thoughts on “Assignment # 1: Understanding Today’s Students

  1. Fascinating interview on how students today have grown up and learn differently. If you believe what he is saying, and to a very large degree I do, it seems mandatory to study ways to modify the status quo to create a better educational model for today’s students. I enjoyed his thoughtful analysis that technology is not amazing and special to students, it’s “like air” to them. It’s always present and you just don’t really think about it. They have no fear of technology. Also fascinating to hear him say that this is the first-ever generation where young people have a profoundly better understanding of something that can create change in society than their elders. I have certainly noticed, in my own situation, times where teachers or administrators dismiss social media or web 2.0 as unimportant to large degree, I believe, because they don’t “get it”. Not only is social media something the students live with, but it creates an important avenue with how students can be educated. Gone are the days when lecture-driven classrooms (drill and kill as he calls it) are the most effective method. Kids today don’t learn that way. We should not have a curriculum based on facts. I stopped the podcast at one point and wrote this quote down: “We don’t need a generation who can perform well on tests we need a generation who can think.” That pretty well turns the current model upside down in many ways. As a band director at a high school in Boise, Idaho, last year I taught a class on music appreciation. Whenever I would give a short lecture on a musical period or composer I noticed that the students had little interest. Yet, when I showed a video of a similar topic, they were engaged. At first I thought it was students who were hooked on youtube but I soon realized that the video had a soundtrack with music of the time period and examples or architecture that was relevant. To quote him again, “we need a student-focused customized collaborative model of learning.” One side note, thank you for providing this as the first assignment. It is indicative of the topic of the course. Using web 2.0, in this case a noted expert in the field, to present information. Indeed the world is flat.

  2. Phil Hartman quotes Tapscott, “They have no fear of technology.” Tapscott is right. I have two children. The older one has posted just about everything about his life and then some on his fb page except for his social security number. Educational settings do teach students how to use, (not utilize technology) for learning and communicating purpose. However, in the years I have been in educational setting. have never seen teachers teach the cons of using the Internet. Technology is an awesome tool but only if we utilize for the correct reasons, like taking this class online. Good post.

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