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.

Advertisements

Digital Learning in Theory

Henry Jenkins who has done a lot of research on participatory culture and digital media established that digital education is not another subject for kids to learn. Rather, it is something that should be integrated into pedagogy. Schools need to operate more along the principles of collective intelligence and social networking.

Rather than learning taking place at different stages, your education is an INTEGRATED ECOSYSTEM, that continues you’re entire life. You are creating networks from the beginning of your education. Students and teachers are reaching outside their community (parents, educators from other schools, experts, businesses, etc.) to create a participatory platform to share information, advice and feedback.

Jenkins suggests that students need to be given the opportunity to seek information from multiple channels and work with a range of different people to pool knowledge and combine skills.

For example, Kids are learning to blog in primary school. Gaining feedback and recognition from a larger community than just the classroom. And it also introduces them to the concept of taking greater responsibility for the quality of information they circulate.

While many education systems are taking digital education on board there are still some negative options. I think that this fear of technology can sometimes come from a lack of understanding.

For my digital artefact I’d like to create a resource for parents, teachers and students that still don’t really understand digital education.

It will basically be a collation of all the information I’ve found. A space where I could link my blog posts, and includes the many videos, articles, etc. that I have found. I would also like to add and possibly review/recommend education games.

Resources

Banerjee, P & Bleson, G 2015, ‘Digital education 2.0: From content to connections’, Deloitte Review, Vol. 16, pp. 2-17.

Jenkins, H. (2016). Learning in a Participatory Culture: A Conversation About New Media and Education (Part Four). [online] Henryjenkins.org. Available at: http://henryjenkins.org/2010/02/learning_in_a_participatory_cu_1.html [Accessed 1 May 2016].