Who Teaches Digital Natives to...
This is the sixth installment of my series on digital natives and how we can meet their needs in the classroom.
We spend so much time in schools today trying teach kids, to impart knowledge. Today's digital natives can teach themselves in many situations. Their creativity and the way their brains are wired allows them to problem-solve better than their digital immigrant teachers in many situations.
Consider these points:
- Who teaches a digital native to use MySpace? Facebook? Twitter? PhotoBucket?
- Who teaches a digital native to use his iPhone straight out of the box?
- Does a digital native ever read the instruction manual before he picks up the controller for XBOX 360, PS3, or Wii?
- Who teaches a digital native to IM or text?
- Who teaches a digital native to capture video with a phone and upload it to YouTube?
Digital natives, when interested in something, will spend whatever amount of time necessary to find solutions to problems and to map pathways to a desired end, to a finished product, to mastery of a skill. Digital natives will do the same in the classroom if the teacher can find a way to give them a problem to solve, a pathway to create, a process to learn. Give them tools and they'll figure it out, either on their own or collaboratively.