Posted by: Kris Woods | December 7, 2007

Article #2: Marc Prensky and the LoTi Discussion

Prensky: 

I was part of the group that read Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants by Marc Prensky.  This was one of three articles discussed in class which focused on the type of learner we see in the classroom now, how they are motivated to learn, and how they think compared to the usual paradigm.  Students are different today…this is the same statement that is probably made during each transitioning generation.  What makes this generation different than any other?  According to Prensky, today’s learners are wired differently.  Multitasking, short attentions, constant stimuli, parallel processing, graphics, random access, just-in-time, relevant, instant rewards are the characteristics of a digital native.  As teachers in the 21st century, we need to change our pedagogy as well as content.  However, the emphasis is on problem solving, constructing meaning out of information, formulating collaborative thinking…hmmm, sounds to me like we are evoking the same strategies as Dewey with constructivist learning, just putting a 21st century twist on the theory through incorporation of technology to help provide that constructivist learning environment. 

One point in which I disagree with Pensky is that a digital immigrant cannot become digitally native.  My foreign language background does not let me accept this premise.  A learner can become fluent in a new language as long as there is an immersion occuring in that the learner operates within the context of the language and culture.  Technology can be viewed as another language.  Prensky makes the metaphor himself by referring to us as digital immigrants and digital natives.  It is possible to lose an accent and become fluent in another language, it takes practice and commitment to developing the language.

LoTi

The Level of Technology Integration (LoTi) survey allows us to determine where we are and where we would like to go as far as our use of technology in the classroom.  After observing a few examples of technology use in classrooms and scoring the classroom activity on the LoTi scale, I see more than ever that technology integration is not just using the technology.  Technology integration is incorporating its use in a pedagogically sound implementation of a learning outcome.  It is not enough to begin using technology to say that students are learning in a technology-rich classroom.  The pedagogy of the integration has to align with the goals of making learning a real-world experience, problem-based, with critical and higher-order thinking.  Bloom’s new taxonomy includes:

  • CREATING
  • EVALUATING
  • ANALYZING
  • APPLYING
  • UNDERSTANDING
  • REMEMBERING

It is easy to make a classroom look like a LoTi Level 5 or 6 classroom through the evidence of technology.  By examining the LoTi framework; however, the critical, problem-based learning needs to occur before there is a high level of technology integration.  We want to move our students from not just remembering information, but to reach an enduring understanding so that they can apply the concept to situations which they can then analyze to create a learning product.

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Responses

  1. Kristine, I like your point about digital natives and digital immigrants. I believe that anyone (of any age!) who wants to learn the “lingo” of today’s digital world certainly can with practice and determination. I did not really “get into” or use computers until around 1997, but because I was eager to learn, I immersed myself in all I could learn about technology and now use these tools with ease.

  2. I agree with your opinion on your blog that the LoTi survey did not accurately reflect a media specialist’s own use of technology integration. My score was lower than I perceive my technology integration to be; however, since our role is support and to work collabratively with the teachers, I do understand why the questions were worded from a highly collaborative perspective. I am beginning to think that our participation in Media 21 will not only serve to integrate more technology in our media centers, but also serve as examples of a 21st century classroom. Our work towards collaborating with teachers will necessarily intensify. I think participation in Teach 21 will help in library media advocation as we will not longer be the lone ranger trying to help our teachers help their students reach a higher level of information fluency.

    Ah, there’s another idea…there has been a shift occurring changing”information literacy” to “information fluency” which connotes becoming “fluent” in information seeking tasks and project generation. Another argument against Prensky’s supposition that there are only digital natives and digital immigrants.


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