iGENERATION Learners - Steve Barkley


In many of my workshop sessions I have participants work with a backward planning process beginning with defining student achievement and then the student behaviors/effort that are likely to generate that desired achievement. From there we examine teacher behaviors likely to encourage and support the needed student behaviors.
Lastly, we examine teacher relationships like professional learning communities and school leadership practices which support the entire process.

One of my power point slides in this process states:

Students today need a high level of education … a very different kind of education than most of us have had.

At this point we often explore the impact of technology in students’ lives and examine its presence or lack of presence in their world. I suggest that it is difficult for a student with an iPhone in her purse to copy information on paper that could be captured with a click.

A different kind of education??

I’m 60… my daughter is 33. The difference in her high school education and mine was minimal. She did study Woodstock in social studies and I didn’t. She did take a keyboarding course…I did not. Most of the rest was the same.

My grandchild is two and a half. How different should her high school education be?
While she isn’t reading yet, she can turn on the TV, bring up the stored DVDs that are hers and select the one she wants grandpa to watch with her. She has games stored on her mom’s phone that she can play at a restaurant while waiting for her meal.

She is in the iGeneration.

Zoey, an iGeneration Learner

Erik Parker recently posted a blog on ASCD Edge where he examines a box of school materials his parents saved in a box 50 years ago. Can you guess what he found?

I was recently introduced to Dr Larry Rosen’s description of the iGeneration of students.

He writes on a Psychology Today Blog:

With the rapid change in technology and its impact on our lives, it is clear that the Internet is no longer the defining feature in the lives of children and teens. Based on our research, we have now discovered a separate generation, which we label the “iGeneration” with the “i” representing both the types of mobile technologies being heralded by children and adolescents (iPhone, iPod, Wii, iTunes) plus the fact that these technologies are mostly “individualized” in the way they are used. My colleagues and I feel that this new generation encompasses those children and teens born in the new millennium and are defined by their technology and media use, their love of electronic communication, and their need to multitask.
iGeners are the most technologically immersed generation and just watching the intense look on their faces as they play video games, text all day long, Skype, Facebook, watch YouTube videos, and juggle a dozen websites at a time, it is clear that they are engaged. Now, we need to rewire
education to take the home iGen lifestyle and transfer it into the classroom.

In his book,
Rewired: Understanding the iGeneration and the Way They Learn, Rosen suggest that students generate original content online as part of lessons. He recommends that we teach students media literacy and the difference between superficial gathering of information and deeper understanding.

I’m wondering how my granddaughter might explore the impact of Woodstock?

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One Response to “ iGENERATION Learners ”

  1. long.sandra@meridianschools.org Says:

    I too am wondering some of the same things you are. My concerns are:
    Will these children develop an ability in verbal communication and personal interactive responses? If so–how?
    What will their social interactions/skills be? Will they function at a certain level of society without ability to expand into further endeavors?
    Will their ability to express ideas in a logical sequence both in written and verbal communication be adequate for the global marketplace? Is our emphasis on relationships inappropriately founded and even appropriate? We know that humans and animals quickly learn that which produces a desired response, so perhaps all will be well. As I see the students I teach and facilitate today, I am watching these marvels of the i-genners and their impact on life as we know it. Perhaps humanity will adapt to an even better, higher evolved society? One wonders.

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