Welcome to my Professional Learning blog.
My name is Matt Nicoll and I am a high school teacher in New Zealand, interested in improving the classroom experience for my students. I am open to trialing new approaches and hope to use this blog to reflect on my ideas and practices.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Digital Natives...Really?!

At the moment, I am trying to get my Year 9 students to create a lab report. They can use any technology they like and the experiment is a very straight-forward one. However, I have needed IT support in my room every lesson, and have been completely stressed out by the students who are struggling to save and/or analyse their work. This idea of our young people being "Digital Natives" is proving to be a real misnomer!

I have learned a very important lesson here: I need to allow for more differentiation regarding the use of technology, not just for the Science being taught. I was hoping that the freedom would allow students to discover ways to create a lab report and how to use technology to help them. Instead, it has created stress for some poor souls, and for me!

In the future, I am going to set up a space where I will work with students having particular issues. For example, on Day One of this task next year, I plan to show the students how to film and/or photograph themselves doing the experiment and upload this to their SkyDrive (or YouTube, or something similar). On Day Two, I plan to show the students how to put their results into a table, then create a graph from these results. Those who do not need the tuition can just get on with their work.

I am hoping this approach will better-cater for those who are not the "Digital Natives" I hoped would be entering my classroom while still allowing others to move ahead if they already have great ideas. I would love some comments...

1 comment:

  1. TBH our generation is more 'native' than the current in my opinion. There is a lot of talk about how technology is changing rapidly these days but we have gone through the biggest changes and have had to learn more. We had more wonder about the technology.

    That being said, children don't have quality access to technology. They have the devices etc but not the guidance on how to use them. Many (most?) still don't have good access to devices to teach students how to use their devices to their full potential. So children often view technology as something to play games on, rather than, as Kevin H said, renting them - doing something worthwhile.

    So yes your approach sounds just right - one new skill at a time combined with the science learning. Getting the children to see their technology as a tool for sharing their learning.