Thursday, March 27, 2008

Back Up Education - Marc Prensky

I would just like to acknowledge the great link that Cheryl (kindergarten teacher for the Northland Kindergarten Association) shared with me in a recent comment.

I am just exploring Marc Prensky's website and thus far I think he has some inspiring things to say to todays teachers and parents. Marc has a page in his site listing his writings. Thus far I have read Digital Native, Digital Immigrants and another quick easy read is Back Up Education which you can download as a pdf file to read, keep and share, share, share. What I loved about Back Up Education is how succinctly Marc puts into perspective the role of ICT in today's education environment. ICT is not going away. It is deeply embedded in the lives of young people today - they are as he writes in his earlier publications - Digital Natives.

As teachers and parents we sometimes confuse the methods of learning with the basics of learning. He suggests that we no longer teach children how (the method) to read or make a sundial - because we have newer quicker methods of (the basics) reading the time - with a machine strapped to our wrist. In the same way, why are we so caught up with putting long division algorithm and cursive writing (or any writing penmanship) for example, before ICT, - when we have calculators and keyboards?

Some teachers argue that if this technology breaks down (back up education) children need to know how to do these things manually. Realistically, Marc suggests, that if these things break down - we fix them (and I would go on to say, maybe we need to teach children HOW to fix the technology if it breaks down rather than throwing it out). And if computers, phone lines, satellites, televisions - if this whole IT network breaks down - our children's algorithms and penmanship will be the least of our worries.

You should check out Marc's website and see what else this visionary has to say.
Thanks Cheryl! If you too have any sites worth sharing, or have any views on this post - PLEASE share - Leave a comment - that's what education is about!!


Naketa said...

Hi Bev
Great post! I have read alot of Marc Prensky's work and I think in your AK Hui bags last year you received the articel "Enrage me or Engage Me" written by Prensky. Funnily enough I was reading through my blogs this evening and came across this post

There is some interesting debate on the "digital native/digital immigrants", check out the post and then the comments and then have a go at saying your piece.

Knz's Blog said...

Thanks Naketa. Yes I did think I had come across Marc Prensky and especially the Digital Natives article (one of our huis last year?). It was good to find his site and discover other readings at my leisure.

Thanks for the link - I will check it out.