Today’s students have changed drastically with growing up using technology from computers, tablets, to cell phones, and some babies are more advanced in technology than adults (Prensky, 2012). 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).
When a digital native sits in a classroom with a digital immigrant teacher, there is a different language being spoken that does not work to the teacher’s advantage because the teacher is speaking a different language from the student which makes it harder for the student to learn (Prensky, 2012). Instructors need to transition from the old way of teaching and learn to speak the student’s language by incorporating as much technology as possible if the instructor wants to truly reach the audience that is being taught.
Implications for Instructional Methods and Strategies Used In Higher Education
When I think about my experiences in higher education, the majority of my classes were spent in a room with other students with the teacher standing in front of the classroom writing information on a huge dry erase board or information was displayed through the use of a PowerPoint presentation and students were required to take notes. I was excited when I took science classes because at least with those classes there were labs involved and I was able to use the information that was learned in class to do hands on work and apply content. The typical strategies used in higher education include lectures, labs, student discussions, and then students are assessed through quizzes midterms and finals. The problem with these methods are the fact that although digital immigrants can learn how to adapt to the language that digital natives speak, digital immigrants always retain some of their old way of thinking and speaking and do not fully integrate and use the language that digital natives speak (Prensky, 2012).
Changes that can be made to our Instructional Practices that will Increase Effectiveness
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).
Acedo, M. (2018). 10 Pros and cons of a flipped classroom. Retrieved from
Prensky, M. (2012). From digital natives to digital wisdom: Hopeful essays for 21st
century learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.