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How do we challenge our digital learners?

on April 4, 2013

As teachers, we spend a lot of time trying to incorporate all kinds of web 2.0 tools into our lessons.  For example, having students create presentations via Prezi or VoiceThread, as opposed to using PowerPoint.  Do you think we should be teaching our students how to make these kinds of programs instead of how to use them?

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5 responses to “How do we challenge our digital learners?

  1. jamievanharen says:

    If there is the capability to do so, we should be teaching kids to do the creating. I think learning to use is just one step in the process. Once we learn how to do something we start to evaluate ways of improving. Then you can allow students to try to create something new.

    • Kristy Bovre says:

      Good point. Perhaps once this generation of digital learners become the educators, they will in fact be teaching them how to create such programs instead of how to use them.

  2. Pam Smetana says:

    Great idea Kristy. The problem we’d have with this is that a lot of us have no idea how some of these programs work, let alone how to make them. I’m barely at the stage of becoming familiar enough to be able to show the kids the barest essentials. That’s true Jamie, the kids could learn to use it first, pretty much on their own, and then go on to learn how it can be improved.

  3. My students often focus too much on the tool and its features than on their content (if I don’t specify a font and size for text, for example, I get papers that look like a Geronimo Stilton book!)

    The students could be challenged to go deeper with their content once they have learned how to use the tool. They could be asked questions like, how could this tool be optimized to express their content? If they’re doing a Prezi, they could explore different formats and sequences to express their message effectively, rather than just experimenting with the bells and whistles. They need to be challenged to look beyond the appearance to see how the content is enhanced by the appearance.

  4. Here’s a link to a TED conversation contribution by a high-schooler. Supports your idea, Kristy:

    http://www.ted.com/conversations/6013/should_we_teach_kids_how_to_ma.html

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