Digital Culture In The Classroom

Education is considered one of the most important aspects of civilisation. It provides the foundation for preparing young people for the future. As technology grows and develops, its presence not only in the education system but also in society is inevitable. The use of technology in the classroom is not a separate notion but rather a tool to integrate into teaching methods to further develop the skills and knowledge of students.

So what is the digital culture in the classroom? Through technology a community is evolving where students and teachers from around the world are combining ideas to offer children the most best education possible. In my last post I mentioned the online game Mathletics, which allows students from a variety of countries to learn maths by completing activities based on curriculums and then competing against one another by testing the maths skills learnt. Games such as this one provide a platform for students to interact with one another whilst learning valuable skills. Teachers and parents have the ability to monitor student activity, providing current and up to date feedback on their performances and outcomes. Not only this, but students are learning skills in a fun and visual way compared to traditional learning.

Digital technology and creativity in the classroom prepares kids for the future by Carolyn Fox explores the transformation of the education system as a result of technology. She makes the point that society is moving towards a digital future, therefore teaching and learning methods must be adapted to prepare children for the ‘new world’ they will be living in.

The industrial, mass production model of learning is under fire and being questioned with the influx of digital technology today and globalization. Experts agree that we learn from our senses, primarily through our visual system, which accounts for about 80% of what we process. They agree that a digital world requires different skills and they usually agree that it includes visual skills.” – (Fox, 2013). 

Andrea Kuszewski is a behaviour therapist and consultant for children on the autism spectrum, with a background in neuroscience and psychology. Upon studying intelligence and the performance of autistic children in learning, she found that we actually have the ability to increase fluid intelligence, the intelligence we use to problem solve. So to increase your brain matter and fluid intelligence, you must seek novelty, challenge yourself, think creatively, do things the hard way and network. Believe it or not these are all key aspects of gaming.

Gabe Zichermann looks at this study in more detail in relation to gaming and shows that gaming is only making our kids smarter.

Resources

Fox, Carolyn 2013, ‘Digital technology and creativity in the classroom prepares kids for the future’, Opensource.com, 25 October, viewed 24 March 2016, https://opensource.com/education/13/10/prepare-future-digital-tech-creativity.

Kuszewski, Andrea 2011, You can increase your intelligence: 5 ways to maximize your cognitive potential, Scientific American, weblog post, 7 March, viewed 24 March 2016, http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/you-can-increase-your-intelligence-5-ways-to-maximize-your-cognitive-potential/.

TedxYouth 2011, TEDxKids@Brussels – Gabe Zichermann – Gamification, YouTube video, 9 June, YouTube, viewed 24 March 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2N-5maKZ9Q.

 

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4 thoughts on “Digital Culture In The Classroom

  1. Technology in the classroom is always cool when you’re kid, you end up engaging with the material more then you though you would. The only problem with technology is that the system needs to be believed in. I was in one of the first years that received the government issued laptops and they were great and it made doing work at school a lot easier, but either teachers ended not believing in their use and they were really used in the classroom or we were always expected to use them. They also tended to brake because they were in a school bag which got thrown around. Would you say that technology is better used a teaching tool rather than a learning tool?

  2. Your post grabbed my attention and I was intrigued the whole time as to how it related back to game cultures, then the link at the end was spot on! The interesting thing around your arguments is that it’s constantly being challenged in the media and this exploration will surely spark much needed debate. The use of your sources added to the authenticity of the argument, and the examples including mathletics I think aided the post to cover a large spectrum of audience members! This article (http://www.cited.org/index.aspx?page_id=143) looks in-depth about the implications of what you introduce in this blog post. It acknowledges both sides of the argument about games and simulations within a learning environment, that may offer a new perspective to your research. I think with technologies slowly becoming a classroom necessity, people are going to have to develop games and simulations that are based off research like yours that seem to encourage the use of screens and like you say “ seek novelty, challenge yourself, think creatively, do things the hard way and network. “

  3. “The use of technology in the classroom is not a separate notion but rather a tool to integrate into teaching methods to further develop the skills and knowledge of students.” Sydney Grammar School has recently banned the use of laptops within the classroom, claiming that the cost of technology over ‘measurable benefits’ is non-conclusive (Bita, N. 2016). Additionally the OECD has thus far noted that ‘Students who use computers frequently at school do a lot worse in most learning outcomes” (OECD, 2015). The cost over benefit relies entirely on the ensuring that their are appropriate learning programs to gain a measurable benefit from technology, or perhaps it’s due to a generation lagging behind in technology.

    Reference:

    Bita, N. (2016) Computers in class ‘a scandalous waste:’ Sydney Grammar head, The Australian, News Corporation, viewed 03.05.16

    OECD, (2015) Students, Computers, Learning: Making the connection, OECD, viewed 03.05.16

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