As I look back over the past six weeks of learning in this course, I reflect on my thoughts of technology in education. When starting this course, I viewed the Internet as a necessity in everyday life from communication to learning. So many people depend on the Internet from entertainment, employment, to education. Students of all ages can earn a degree online instead of physically attending classes, and all of this is because of the advancement of technology. I still feel as though there are far too many positive reasons to use technology today in education that outweigh the negative.
Three Significant Concepts Learned from this Course
Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants
Prensky (2012) described two different people when referring to technology, digital natives and digital immigrants. The digital native grew up with technology whereas the digital immigrant is learning about technology coming from a time period where most of today’s technology did not exist (Prensky, 2012).
Instructors have to learn to speak the language of today’s students starting with methodology (Presnky, 2012). Lectures can be made available to students through the use of flipping the classroom so that students can do more hands on labs, group discussions, projects, or project based learning during class time. The goal of the flipped classroom is to increase student’s learning by reversing the classroom model and focusing more on student understanding rather than the teacher lecturing (Acedo, 2018). The instructor can still be in charge of the lecture by either recording oneself and having students take notes and watch videos of the instructor or the instructor can find videos and assign those videos to students to watch before class. The instructor can also incorporate social media in the lesson by polling students by sending out a tweet using twitter or creating a poll on Facebook and having students respond. Students can also blog or collaborate on group projects or just share ideas using social media. The possibilities are endless because today’s technology tools, if used effectively, can help students learn on their own with social media being a way to collaborate with students all over the world (Prensky, 2012).
Using Games in Education
Computers games give students opportunities to learn in a language that the student speaks, technology (Prensky, 2012). The 21st century learner uses technology on a daily basis and incorporating games gives students the ability to learn by participating in hands on application. After conducting an interview with a 21st century learner who is also a college student, I learned that hands on applications are very important to college students. Computer games go beyond games and includes simulations, which can help students understand some of the same complex issues that medical doctors understand from using simulations (Prensky, 2012). It is not just the game that is being played; it is the knowledge that students can learn while enjoying content in the process! With students spending so much time playing video games on their own, it would behoove higher education to incorporate what interests students the most and use that to an advantage (McGonigal, 2010).
There is Still a Need for Brick and Mortar
Students who use only technology to complete their educational journey are missing out on connections with the institution. Yes, online courses teach students a plethora of information but the brick and mortar has far more to offer than just an education (Mayfield & Mayfield, 2011). Students who become involved in the institution by joining clubs and organizations become more connected to the school, build a community, discover passions and strengths and may even do better in school (Mayfield & Mayfield, 2011). My daughters were heavily involved in school during their high school years and one even started a club that helped students from the surrounding middle schools transition more comfortably into high school by teaming the students up with high school role models. Just as colleges look for well-rounded students for admissions, so do employers (Chen, 2015). Students who do not attend brick and mortar colleges are missing out on this experience. Although technology has benefits when it comes to education, there are some experiences that just can’t be replaced.
Application of Learned Concepts
It is my dream to start my own school and this course has given me so many ideas of where to start. I know that in order to start this process, I have to become accredited and many innovative schools have a hard time with this process because in order to become accredited, students have to be enrolled but to receive governmental funding, one must be accredited (Manning, 2014). Innovation is key, as the 21st century learner does not learn in a way that students learned when schools were invented. Today’s students are different and teachers are going to have to learn the student’s language in order to reach and teach the students (Prensky, 2012).
Students are interested in social media, games, and things that involve technology and retrieving information fast (Prensky, 2012). Today’s students work better with finding information instead of having a teacher lecture and giving students information. I know that if I am to use the knowledge gained from this course, I will be able to hold student’s attention and reach them because I will know how to speak these digital native’s language.
Digital natives pay attention to things that interest them and the old way of teaching that digital immigrants are used to just won’t cut it (Prensky, 2012). Put a computer in front of a digital native with a lesson that they are responsible for learning independently, you will find that they will start to research and become so engaged in the lesson that you would think you are teaching different students because you have found a way to hold their interest. I have had students tell me that my class is their favorite because they are not just sitting their listening to a lesson, they become a part of the lesson and when they don’t know an answer I always tell them they have an entire tool in front of them to find the answer to their question (either a netbook or an iPad). Digital natives are learning about technology at a rapid pace and those educators who are digital immigrants need to adapt and learn as much as possible if we plan to educate the 21st century learner (Prensky, 2012).
Acedo, M. (2018). 10 Pros and cons of a flipped classroom. Retrieved from
Chen, G. (2015). The benefits of community college clubs. Retrieved from
Manning, S. (2014). Launching new institutions: Solving the chicken-or-egg problem in
American higher education. Retrieved from http://www.aei.org/publication/launching-new-institutions-solving-chicken-egg-problem-american-higher-education/
Mayfield, J. & Mayfield, L. (2011). 5 Reasons for getting involved in college-And how
McGonigal, J. (2010). Gaming can make a better world [Video]. Retrieved from
Prensky, M. (2012). From digital natives to digital wisdom: Hopeful essays for 21st
century learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.