Today I had the privilege of listening to Hall Davidson, head of the Discovery Educator Network, speak on a topic entitled, “Revenge of the Digital Natives“. He spoke of how the digital natives (children growing up with technology) have the ability to multi-task unlike any generation before them. While the amount of time these students spend watching TV can increase their inability to attend, they can also multi-task with several different medias and expect to learn with several different medias. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Digital natives typically spend 2 seconds on a webpage before they decide whether or not the page will yield the information they are looking for. What does this mean for teachers? Think of the media you use in your class. Mr. Davidson gave the example of how the old way to show an education video in schools was to play the whole 30 minute video. Now with resources like United Streaming, teachers have the ability to download a short video segment that narrows in on their objective that they are teaching. No more wasted classroom time!
Mr. Davidson also shared some websites that can be used in a new way to engage students in the classroom:
- Google Lit Trips: Virtual field trips in Google Earth around famous works of literature
- Google Sketchup: Construct a 3D building
- Gcast: Call an online service, leave a message, and turn it into a podcast automatically
- Poll everywhere: Participate in a survey via your cell phone and results are displayed on the website live
- Jott: send yourself reminders via email by calling the Jott.com number
I have seen Mr. Davidson speak at the Day of Discovery in Silver Springs, MD back in August, and still find that he has new ideas to share with his audience. I hope to continue to be as motivated and excited about technology as he is!
MD, VA, DC Day of Discovery