A few days ago, I registered for a webinar offered by Discovery Education, an arm of the Discovery Channel. It aired on Sept. 23 but circumstances didn't allow me to watch it streamed live; however, I did enjoy looking at it through their archival collection. The session was titled "Learning to Speak Native: How Education is Being Transformed in 140 Characters or Less". In a nutshell, the webinar examined some features of Web 2.0 as a new way to connect with today's child who very early on is exposed to technology and is intrigued by it. In fact the speaker Steve Dembo's two children are now growing up with Web 2.0 where the 6 year old is blogging daily and his newborn has been exposed to Web 2.0 features that have been installed on her crib attachments.
Two key quotes caught my attention:
"I no longer give my students assignments; I give them creative briefs". This is from a teacher who encourages his students to explore and select from a range of options such as creating a Wordle, a graphic novel, a blog, a lab and yes, even some more traditional ones but the choice does address the move toward digital presentations.
The other quote was by Marc Prensky who said,"If Digital Immigrant educators really want to reach Digital Natives, they will have to change." The change that was encouraged here was not an overnight radical shift; rather, it was taking that key step to make one move to incorporate educational technology into the classroom until you feel comfortable with it before you move on to another one. This kind of change is manageable and less intimidating.
The next Discovery Education feature will take place on Oct. 23. It will be a virtual conference and I am looking forward to it.