Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Learning to Think Like a Teenager

Here's a story that resonated with me:
This takes a particular willingness not to get it right all the time. Which brings me to teenagers. Two moments during this weekend really drove it home to me how absolutely second-nature using the Web increasingly is for kids. My nephew, sitting in a traffic jam on a Colorado highway, pulled out his cellphone and called his mother in Massachusetts, asked her to go online to see what was going on further up the road--she did, found out that snow had closed the pass, and relayed the info to her son, who turned around and headed back to Boulder. And then my daughter, lost in the impossible knot of Boston streets, called a friend in Vermont to do a Mapquest search to help her find her way to her destination. Now being kids, neither one thought of doing the research ahead of time, but being kids of today, they knew they could find an answer through their
cellphones and friends with computers.

I think we need to continually remind ourselves that technology is a natural part of our student's worlds - not an add on like it is for us old folks - the digital native (students) versus digitial immigrants (us) idea.


  1. I think it will be true for them too. I don't think they have it all. I remember never even having a cell phone and once I got myself to know to bring it and use it, I now have it as part of my "tools". There will be more inventions more ideas that will put them where WE are now and it will not end. It is part of the development and advancements that happen in science to make life "easier". We must seem the same to people in their 80's when we use a microwave, or e-mail.

  2. I am continually amazed at how well and efficiently my kids use the net for searches, and yet I realize they only have pockets of info but not necessarily the BIG PICTURE. Every once in a while, I surprise them with knowledge I've gleaned from all of you. It's a constant reminder that they may have the skills in place but they still need a guide. But they are incredibly creative at times.

  3. It blows me away everytime I look at new cell phones and even the new ipods to see their advanced capabilites. Oh brave new world...

  4. I love it. We talk about students needing to explore their world and to make their own understanding and these are perfect examples of what we are talking about. Kids are a lot better about using the technology tools then some of us are and we could stand to learn something from them every once in a while.

  5. I'm just a random student reading this, but I find it interesting. Only this post made me think of technology not being second nature. I suppose my generation is a bit spoiled. But I consider it a blessing. Technology allows those of us who want to know what the world around us is like have the opportunity to see it first hand. Endless news articles. An immense collection of opinions and ideas from every corner of the world. It can be used in so many ways. If we could figure out a way to incorporate this flow of information even more into the classroom, it could potentially be very beneficial.

  6. Young mollyg has entered our realm?!? Gee, I had a mollyg in class once and if it is the mollyg I'm thinking of, she is the exact student that I feel we miss. A very bright, nontraditional student who sometimes struggles on the traditional. Yet she can outthink her peers when given the chance to direct her learning. In the past, this type of student might end up getting the dreaded C in an honors class so we move her out. After our recent discussion about grading, I do wonder if I have missed the boat. On the other hand, there is still value in mastering the content. My hope is that the mollyg I know finds the way to come back to honors and she allows let her nontraditional strengths and her interests in directing her learning to combine with her strong mind and a stronger focus on the mastery of content.

    Yes, a blog of a different color.