Picture of Victoria Thornley
Educating the Net Generation
by Victoria Thornley - Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 9:13 PM
 

Our discussions over the past weeks have centered on learning in the online environment, web tools to enhance online learning and strategies to improve facilitation skills to assure learning occurs.

I had the opportunity to spend time with my grandchildren last week and I noticed that anytime a picture or video became available, whether I -phone/pad, television, or gaming console, they were instantly engaged in the subject matter presented.

When these children become young adults and seek post-secondary education, how will online instruction meet their needs and expectations?

Copy the following link to your browser for some interesting reading on educating the Net generation. 

https://diigo.com/0xqam

Vicki in Texas

 
Picture of Sally Millermon
Re: Educating the Net Generation
by Sally Millermon - Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 11:20 PM
 

Vicki,

Educational techniques and strategies seem to change fairly frequently over time. I would like to think that this is mostly due to continuing research, but sometimes they change so much it feels like public education is just embracing the latest educational fad. Certain teaching methods are popular for a while, and then they fall out of favor and a new method or strategy takes its place. This is not to say that the strategies and methods once used are no longer effective, just that a new way of thinking or looking at something has occurred.  A few examples are the open classrooms in the sixties, block scheduling vs. shorter class periods, and flipping the classroom.

Addressing the Net Generation’s online instructional needs and expectations is probably more about meeting their expectations than their actual needs. Being able to adapt and be flexible is a part of life. I think a variety of approaches, both traditional and web-based, used in a focused and directed manner by the instructor, is the best approach. There are many advantages to using technology in the classroom as a means to engage students, but students should also learn how to communicate face-to-face and work together in a physical classroom as well.  Hopefully by the time Net Gener’s get to college, they will have a good handle on both online and offline ways of learning.

Sally in Wisconsin

Picture of Judith Wisniewski
Re: Educating the Net Generation
by Judith Wisniewski - Thursday, March 21, 2013, 11:51 AM
 

Sally,
I really had a flashback when reading your chronological list of educational strategies and methods "past" ( the open classroomsblock scheduling vs. shorter class periods, and flipping the classroom). Currently, I even work for one of the companies leading the charge of flipping classrooms.

I remember being perplexed by my new colleagues during my first two weeks of faculty meetings at the local community college. We were discussing a new program, which was basically block scheduling for liberal arts students. I was the "new guy" and they were rolling their eyes and saying things like, "Here we go again." Now that I have been around a bit longer, I understand where they were coming from.

These things may come and go, but at least, at the core, there is the hope there is more engagement with students who learn good critical thinking skills. What is disconcerting is how quickly and easily these trends come and go at the whim of administrators wielding the funding. 

Your statement (below) is a great observation.

Addressing the Net Generation’s online instructional needs and expectations is probably more about meeting their expectations than their actual needs.

And it seemed like you conclusion was to make sure over an educational career, the student builds a great arsenal of tools that work for them.

Judi in Charleston, SC

Picture of Victoria Thornley
Re: Educating the Net Generation
by Victoria Thornley - Thursday, March 21, 2013, 8:10 PM
 

Hi Sally and Judy,

Thanks for your insight and comments in answer to my question.  I too have seen the eyes rolling/here we go again responses from my collegues and it does seem that what goes around comes around.  Sally's conclusion that as educators we must equip  students with multiple learning tools and guide them to deeper learning to assure that they are prepared is an absolute priority for educators.  The challenge of our tech savvy students also keep us on our toes. lLifelong learning -  not a bad thing!

Vicki

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Re: Educating the Net Generation
by Judith Wisniewski - Thursday, March 21, 2013, 9:36 PM
 

Vicki: I realize that I did not answer your original question. Going back to do that now.

Judi in Charleston, SC

Picture of Erika Koenig
Re: Educating the Net Generation
by Erika Koenig - Thursday, March 21, 2013, 10:00 PM
 

I was just visiting from the green group and this discussion caught my eye.  I can so vividly remember being the new teacher at professional development and wondering where all the eye-rolling was coming from.    I can honestly say that I'm still not an eye-roller, but I do experience deja vu quite frequently.  :)

I liked this comment:

Addressing the Net Generation’s online instructional needs  and expectations is probably more about meeting their  expectations than their actual needs.

We need food, we want a banana split.  We need information, we want it in a multi-media presentation.  We'll survive just fine on a diet of oatmeal and raisins, but we thrive with an occasional banana split. 

Picture of Victoria Thornley
Re: Educating the Net Generation
by Victoria Thornley - Friday, March 22, 2013, 5:04 PM
 

Hi Erica,

Good analogy -- what we need and what we expect are two entirely different things and the online instructor has to provide both.  Thanks for the input.

Vicki

Picture of Sally Millermon
Re: Educating the Net Generation
by Sally Millermon - Saturday, March 23, 2013, 11:20 AM
 

Hi Erica,

I also appreciated your analogy of needs vs. wants. We need the main course (instruction), but dessert (multimedia) makes life more interesting. Nice way to sum up the delivery of information online. 

Sally in Wisconsin

Picture of Judith Wisniewski
Re: Educating the Net Generation
by Judith Wisniewski - Thursday, March 21, 2013, 10:14 PM
 

Vicki:

I am going to answer this question based on some unexpected personal experiences. I, too, noticed that my niece and nephew became mesmerized when we put a video in the VCR. But they were just toddlers at the time.

What was more surprising to me was discussions I had with several of my colleagues in a college art department on the same topic. We had all taught a particular class with the departmental textbook that included skill building activities. The activities came with videos and we all introduced the activities with those videos. And we all compared notes and found that when the videos were projecting in the classroom, the class was mesmerized-- mesmerized in a way they were not when the teacher was speaking.

After noticing and discussing this, one of my colleagues decided to screen capture his computer instruction lectures and upload them to an online course shell. He then laid out his entire fact to face class online. Then, he initiated a class routine that entailed students logging in upon their arrival to class and listening to the lectures with headphones. The rest of the class was handled as a lab/studio with faciliatation and critique by the instructor. Late students were not a disruption because they were not interrupting a lecture.

So this instructor basically took his online course and ported it over to his face to face class, and not the reverse. 

My reaction was, this teacher is teaching a correspondence course! The audacity! The students' reactions were they gave the teacher a 93 satisfaction rating on his student evaluations.

My point here is that the folks responsible for online methods and strategies will adapt again and again and discover what works. And in addition to this example, the students themselves are pretty vocal about making suggestions.

Judi in Charleston, SC


Picture of Victoria Thornley
Re: Educating the Net Generation
by Victoria Thornley - Friday, March 22, 2013, 5:03 PM
 

Hi Judy,

What an interesting idea.  Thanks for sharing the unusual use of media in the classroom.  I have to say that when I watched a video on one of the Web 2.0 sites that was teaching college math, I actually had the concept down by the end of the short video -- and I'm nearly math illiterate. Maybe all of us pay more attention  to a screen than a human.

The teacher scored well but did the students I wonder? 

Vicki

Picture of Sally Millermon
Re: Educating the Net Generation
by Sally Millermon - Saturday, March 23, 2013, 11:27 AM
 

Hi Judi,

What an interesting idea with a twist. I guess there are many different innovative ways to use media in the classroom. The main thing is that it worked (93% student approval rating) and students were more engaged. I would have never even considered this approach. I guess we have to be willing to think "outside of the box" more often.

Thanks for sharing,

Sally in Wisconsin

Picture of Judith Wisniewski
Re: Educating the Net Generation
by Judith Wisniewski - Saturday, March 23, 2013, 9:05 PM
 

Vicki:

Well, yes, the students did learn the material. I was the Dept. Head at the time, so I was keeping tabs. Another advantage was that they had the lecture "canned" for replay, which they did.

I pulled this instructor aside to speak with him about this. He told me that this was how his wife and her colleagues, who taught math, were organizing their classrooms. I guess when I think about it, this is the "flipped classroom" idea.

I have since repeated this story to one of my animation instructors when I moved to another school. He teaches very complex software. It worked great for him also.

I'm an old dog and I am still having trouble with the order of things!

Judi in Charleston, SC

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