using the technology of today , i...
The Instructional Power of and How Teachers Can Leverage Them Eric Klopfer, Scot Osterweil, Jennifer Groff, Jason Haas using the technology of today, in the classroom today an Education Arcade paper
The Education Arcade Massachusetts Institute of Technology Eric Klopfer, Scot Osterweil, Jennifer Groff, Jason Haas �� copyright 2009 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
usi ng the technol ogy o f today , i n the classroo m today 1 *OUSPEVDUJPO What is good learning? That may be a subjective question. But it���s likely that many educators would give answers that fall in the same ballpark��� ���students collaborating and discussing ideas, possible solutions��� ���project-based learning, designed around real world contexts��� ���connecting with other students around the world, on topics of study��� ���immersing students in a learning experience that allows them to grapple with a problem, gaining higher-order thinking skills from pursuing the solution��� To many educators, these notions are music to their ears. Would it seem terribly strange then to hear that stu- dents indeed are doing these things regularly outside of their classrooms? While Timmy or Susie may not be run- ning home from school saying, ���What fun, deeply-engaging learning experience can we do today?���, they are en- gaging with new technologies that provide them with the same opportunities. Every day, many students are spending countless hours immersed in popular technologies���such as Facebook or MySpace, World of Warcraft, or Sim City���which at first glance may seem like a waste of time, and brain cells. But these genres of technolo- gies���Social Networking, Digital Gaming, and Simulations���deserve a second, deeper, look at what���s actually go- ing on. ~~~ When you hear ���MySpace��� or ���World of Warcraft,��� what do they bring to mind for you? What emotions do you associate with them? Have you heard of them before? Your students have, and they almost certainly have strong opinions about them. You don���t need to be a teenager to use or understand these technologies, or to use them in your classroom. Market research data indicates that many a normal, middle-aged adult1 uses these technologies with frequency. The fact is, you can be 17, 35, or 60, and when you begin to engage with them and observe what���s really going on, you can begin to see that these technologies are more than just entertainment. These technologies are already demonstrating how they impact the way we think, learn, and interact���and they are also demonstrating the tremendous potential they have in these areas as well. The emergence of social networking technologies and the evolution of digital games have helped shape the new ways in which people are communi- cating, collaborating, operating, and forming social constructs. In fact, recent research is showing us that these technologies are shaping the way we think, work, and live. This is especially true of our youngest generations��� those arriving at classrooms doors, soon to be leaving them and entering the workforce and society-at-large. Our newest generation ��� currently in K-12 ��� is demonstrating for us the impact of having developed under the digital wave. These youth have been completely normalized by digital technologies���it is a fully integrated aspect of their lives (Green & Hannon, 2007). Many students in this group are using new media and technologies to cre- "DDPSEJOH UP UIF &OUFSUBJONFOU 4PGUXBSF "TTPDJBUJPO JO UIF BWFSBHF HBNF QMBZFS JT ZFBST PG BHF