This week, I read Growing Up with Google, Neomillenial learning styles, and planning for Neomillenial learning styles.
First up, Growing up with Google. This document throws around a lot of statistics that serve to prove the fact that many of today's students, up to age 27ish, base most of their relationships through technology, whether it be messaging, texting, facebook, second life, or email. It pushes the reader to realize how much knowledge is available through people just like ourselves adding to it, and that our students know how to access it all. They move through their lives seamlessly jumping from virtual to reality and back, and look at us funny when we don't understand it.
Second, I read Neomillenial learning styles. This backs up everything in the Google article. It talks about the importance of handheld devices in the lives of our students. Some of the facts and figures thrown out are how many handhelds are owned by each demographic of our students, and not for solely educational purposes, and would use it for education if it were more readily available.
Finally, I read Implementing Neomillenials. This article focuses on ways that an instructor could embrace the technology focused on the the second article above. It offers suggestions like wireless access everywhere, using alternate reality games, blogging tools, and many other ways to implement technology into your classroom.
My opinion on Google is that the entire article is dead-on. As a teacher, I see the effect the Google world has had on my students. The demographic in the article is students born after 1982--I was born in 1982, so I am just on the cusp of the revolution. I have that "give it to me now" mentality without the need to have all my personal relationships developed and existing on the web. It claims that only 31% of searches are successful. I'm surprised its that high. Plus, even if the students find what they are looking for, they can't tell if it is reliable or not, nor do they care much of the time.
My opinion on Neomillenials is much the same. It was good information to have and great ideas on how to put the plans into action to get students engaged, but I felt as if the article dragged on awhile. It got to the point where I just started skimming because it was making my eyes blur.
Most of the implementing neomillienials paper breaks down what the first discusses and tells an isntructor how to implement learning while embracing the new challenge it presents. However, this goes back to the issue of money. Many schools, espcially here in Indiana, are having their budgets cut to the point that teachers are losing jobs, students are going without some materials that the school used to provide. How is expensive technology going to fit in to that budget? Yes, many students already have things like iPods or iPads, but what about those students that don't? Can we, as teachers, ignore the fact that not all students can afford these things? Can we honestly believe that we are doing our jobs by not using them to teach, denying many students the technological opportunities that exist, or move forward with using those things and leave others behind?
Quote of the week from Growing up with Google:
"An increasing number of students – and their parents – expect
academic success with little academic effort."
This makes for the quote of the week because I have to argue this with parents everytime I flunk their so called honor roll student because they did the bare minimum instead of their best work. Welcome to the real world, mom and dad.