Subtitle = “Hopeful Essays for 21st Century Learning”
We ordered this after seeing Prensky last week. I’m very interested in reading this and hope to respond here. Thoughts in process…
I love this paragraph from the introduction: “To the disappointment of some (and the delight of many), the vision I have is not just about technology in education. In fact, it is not even just a vision of better education. My vision is one of better people, better equipped to face the challenges of the world they will live in — that is, a world far different than yesterday’s or even today’s. Technology has an important place in that vision, because it has an important place in our future. But it does not dominate the vision; rather it supports it. As one of my student panelists put it brilliantly, ‘We see technology as a foundation. It underlies everything we do.’ In the end, I am far more interested in creating important, useful learning and life opportunities for our students than I am in promoting any educational technology.”
The more I teach, and the more I work in ed tech, the more convinced I am that Prensky is correct here. First, that the world has changed. Much of education has not caught up and in fact, seems determined to follow a course based on 19th rather than 21st century realities. Second, what we call “technology” is simply part of life to our students, the way TV is to us. We don’t have deep, meaningful discussions about television qua television. We discuss individual shows, but the medium is transparent. Kind of like the air we breathe. “Technology” is like the air our students breathe, and as long as we fear it, try to manage it, treat it as something “other”, we’re perpetuating the disconnect between our educational systems and the realities our students inhabit.