Today I had a moment to peruse Ian Jukes new book Understanding the Digital Generation. It put into perspective my own thoughts about where I am, as an educator and technology enthusiast. Although I have always been fascinated with what technology can accomplish for me in my daily tasks, learning and teaching….I really did not associate myself with being a DSL Learner. Certainly, being that I am an ESL learner (French and German are my first two native languages. I learned English in school; at home the other two languages dominated my communicative life.) I always thought of myself, and still do, as an early adopter of technology. That title – Digital as a Second Language – really struck me as significant. I recognize that other DSL learners have caught on as quickly as I have while others struggle. As an educator with students who are digital natives, I must recognize their new skills and be in sync with how different their brains process information. Experimentation, collaboration and appreciation are all components of these students’ learning experiences outside the school, on a MUCH larger platform. In order to connect with these digital natives, we need to learn how to facilitate this growth differently.
What could we be doing in education to assist educators and administrators to change/reform and begin to understand how teaching and learning really needs to evolve to incorporate many voices in the learning process? Is Setting the Direction in Alberta part of the answer? How about listening to the students themselves? Some great work from Project Tomorrow and the Horizon Report shed light on what students think about their learning and how they daily use technology. Take time to ask them; their answers may certainly surprise you and open up a brand new world of teaching and learning!!
What are you doing to grow and strengthen your DSL ?