Prensky Blog Prompt 1

1. Discuss the apparent contradiction of the video “I Need My Teachers to Learn” and Prensky’s comments that “teachers do not need to learn to use it [technology] themselves.” How could you compare the ultimate goal of both approaches? Your opinion?

The contradiction found between the “I Need My Teachers to Learn” video and the Prensky comment on teacher use of technology is one that I believe plagues 21st century educators regularly. Teachers have found themselves in the middle of a battle between old and new and because they haven’t been taught how to balance the two, revert back to old habit. These are the teachers that I feel were depicted in the video. These teachers aren’t sure how to use technology and may even be scared of its possible applications. The point of view portrayed in the video persuades educators to use technology more frequently and proficiently to enhance student instruction.

Prensky’s perspective equates technology to using a book—it is simply a mode of delivering information. We wouldn’t expect teachers to read every single book that their students may encounter, thus why would we expect the same teachers to become masters of every mode of technology? Prensky argues that teachers need not be the ones using the technology; they are simply providing access to technology and then guiding and coaching as they would with a book or magazine.

I believe my personal perspective on this issue has evolved over time. I have been teaching for 22 years and technology has drastically changed during that time. I was reluctant, at first, to use new technology, for fear of the unknown, but after exposure to different technologies, my opinion has drastically shifted. I think that Prensky’s opinion that teachers do not need to be using the technology is a more realistic and accurate scenario of what should be occurring in today’s classrooms. Teachers should provide pupils with the tools they need and should then guide them, and probably learn from them, as they research, collaborate, and demonstrate their learning.

In the defense of teachers who are more accurately depicted by the video, there are many stresses put on teachers to be prepared to teach any lesson by completely understanding every aspect before teaching. This preparedness keeps the lesson running smoothly and allows teachers to predict interferences. Thus, for many teachers, not fully understanding a technological tool is very unsettling for them. They may be fearful and anxious and choose not to pursue the integration of technology until it is fully mastered, which will never occur in today’s changing times.

I think the best way for teachers similar to the ones in the video to become more receptive to Prensky’s method is to see other teachers in action. By observing the dynamics of teacher and pupil as partners (and their integration of technology) is one of the best vehicles for change.

2. Discuss one main point that Prensky poses in this week’s readings and provide links to two or more articles, websites, videos, blogs, podcasts, etc. that contribute to this point.

One of the main points Prensky poses in this week’s reading is that pupils should be more engaged in their own learning and should be encouraged to investigate their passions. He specifically encourages pupils to fill the following roles to guide their learning: researcher, technology user and expert, thinker and sense maker, world changer, and self-teacher. By becoming more engaged in their own learning, pupils are better able to make connections, build relationships, and demonstrate their learning proficiently. By following their passions and having the freedom to demonstrate their learning in ways that best meet their needs, pupils perform more proficiently as they know there work is appreciated, respected, and real. The links below provide additional information and evidence that pupils who are allowed to take control of their learning are capable of meeting and exceeding preconceived expectations.

Backowski, J. (2014, September 26). Learning on the go. [digital image].

Retrieved from http://blog.atomiclearning.com/how-are-students-using-

mobile-devices-infographic

Davis, V. (2015, August 19). 5 ways of bringing student passions to student

learning. [web log comment]. Retrieved from

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/bringing-student-passions-to-learning

Schoenrock, A. (2015, July 29). Technology you. [digital image]. Retrieved from

http://blog.atomiclearning.com/infographic-technology-you

Wildwood IB World Magnet School. (2015, August 24). Inquiry-based

learning: developing student-driven questions. . Retrieved

from http://www.edutopia.org/practice/wildwood-inquiry-based-learning-

developing-student-driven-questions

3. Give one example of each component of C-Rea-T-E in Partnering and justify each example.

(Cognitive Complexity)
C – Level 4: Integrating

Partnering allows for the differentiation of learning as pupils choose their topics of research based on “student-generated questions.” It also allows for the evaluation of their products and the products of others as they prepare to share their learning with the world via the web.

(Real World)
R – Level 4: Integrating

Partnering allows pupils to research topics of interest to them and create products that are applicable to the real world and available to authentic audiences via the Internet or other Web 2.0 tools. They are able to access numerous standards and content within their projects simultaneously.

(Engagement)
Ea – Level 5: Specializing

Partnering allows pupils to initiate their own inquiry-based projects based on their interests. They can work independently or collaborate with others as necessary. They are engaged because they are invested in the learning, as it is a topic of interest for them and not provided by the teacher.

(Technology Integration)
Te – Level 4: Integrating

Partnering allows for the seamless integration of technology into the instruction. Pupils choose their digital tool for demonstrating their knowledge as well as use the Internet for information related to their topic. Collaboration may occur as pupils work together to create an authentic product and work through unforeseen problems that may arise. Technology in a partnering classroom is not an add-on; it is an essential component of student learning.

Maxwell, M., Stobaugh, R. & Tassell, J.. (2014). CREaTe excellence. Retrieved

from http://create-excellence.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/CREaTe-

Framework.pdf

Prensky, M. (2010). Teaching digital natives: partnering for real learning.

Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

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