Monday, June 28, 2010

Ian Jukes - Teaching the Digital Generation

While waiting for the session to start, we were treated to an interesting slidendeck. Downloadable photos at Juke website - very funny and thought provoking. Will have to check out.

Session description:
Primary URL:

Jukes started off by explaining his research in brain theory in the digital generation. Kids today are totally different than kids have ever been before. Not just because of the music or how they ask. The research shows that because of digital bombardment to digital technology, these students have had their brains rewired to be able to absorb this bombardment. In his book, Teaching the Digital Generation, the research is listed and shows how their brains are rewired differently than any other generation. Their brains process information in a hyperlinked format. They are not linear like ours have been trained to be.

Their brains work in an F pattern - research shows that students only read the upper left side of the page and will rarely read the bottom right side of the page due to the digital bombardment.

Digital learner profile: Digital Learners' Learning Styles compared to those of traditional educators' learning styles.
  • Many educators prefer a slow and controlled stream of information. Due to the digital bombardment, the digital generation is far better equipped to process a fast stream of information. The digital generation has a need for speed when it comes to information. School makes them feel like they are hitting a wall and that is why they aren't connected at school. Educators need to accept (at least in part) that this is a problem and to adapt how they teach. To engage with the digital generation, we need to embrace the hand held technology that they use everyday and to connect with them using these tools.
  • The digital generation are completely fine with multi-tasking and performing numerous tasks at the same time. Effective multitasking essentially means having a brain that can process many things at the same time. Non-digital learners, can't deal with this in a classroom or while a child is doing their homework. Our brains can relate to their abilities to multi-tasking.
  • Digital learners prefer processing pictures, colour sound and video before text. This is opposite of traditional educators who prefer to present text first. Traditionally, primary information was always provided by text. Now this is opposite. 90% recall of 2500 pictures after only viewing them for 10 seconds 72 hours later. In contrast, without the aid of photos, 10% of information will be retained after 72 hours. When images are added, the digital generation will remember 65% presentation 72 hours later. This about the 6:00 news. The words complement the pictures. That is what we retain, not the long introduction.
  • Digital learners prefer random access to hyper-linked multimedia information. Because they become easily bored, they can't follow the linear flow of information. Their minds are hyperlinked. Both sets of skills are essential because we need to be able to understand someone else's logic.
  • Digital learners prefer to be networking with others at the same time. Digtal generation have taken the internet for granted because it is ingrained in them. Using Web 2.0 tools together at the same time to communicate. When a child is given a new game or device, they don't start by reading the manual, they start with intuition, discovery and problem solving. This connects and inspires learners.
  • Many digital learners prefer to have  to learn something "just in time" as opposed to "just in case" (traditional idea) - traditional jobs don't exist anymore. Students today will have 10-17 careers by the time that they are 35 years old due to the rapidly changing marketplace. A lot of these jobs don't even exist yet. What world are w e preparing them for?
  • Digital learners prefer instant gratification and instant rewards. - traditional education puts those rewards off. We need to start to give instant feedback on learning.
Lee Crockett: What are the critical skills that students need when they graduate? The same arise - technology, collaborate, communicate and problem solving. These are not items that are not measurable and therefore they are not taught well.

21st Century Fluencies: presented by Lee Crockett
Solution fluency: (problem solving - post steps in classroom)
  • Define- define the task or problem correctly before you start your work
  • Discover - turning our attention to the past and arrive at where I am. What is the historical context.
  • Dream - wide open visualization - this is where creativity happens
  • Design - map out the process or the plan/blueprint to keep us on track to deliver the solution that was defined
  • Deliver - apply new found knowledge in the form of a product. It is not enough to design the presentation, you need to deliver.
  • Debrief - how could we have made this better? Evaluation of their own work and the work of their peers gives them ownership and real learning opportunities.
Information fluency: (post as well)
  • Ask - ask questions
  • Acquire - go out and find the answers, right or wrong because that gives them an opportunity for learning.
  • Analyse- Authenticate the information (right from wrong)
  • Apply - Moving vision in to practice - Deliever
  • Assess - Deciding how to do it better next time.
Creativity Fluency:
  • Design is the only thing that differentiates one product from another in the markeplace - Norio Ohgo
  • Story telling - logical and analytical abilities alone can no longer guarantee success... story telling is a must. Richard Olivie
  • Creativity is required to compete in the market place
Media Fluency:
  • Analytical - not just what they are saying but how well they are saying it
  • Ability to get the message out there - appropriate form to communicate the product
  • Helping our students to understand how to use their digital tools to effectively communicate
Collaboration Fluency:
  • The Digital Diet - a book to check out - everything done online or video chat. They never sat down together in the same room.
  • Digital learners are collaborating all the time, both in and outside of school.
  • Ability to collaborate with digital and real-life partners to achieve a product or solve problems.
Mutual respect is required of both worlds to balance and appreciate the needs of both generations.


  1. I agree that kids' brains probably are being rewired due to massive media exposure and technology use, but I doubt that the claim about their multitasking skills is correct. For one, the frontal lobes, responsible for multitasking ability, are not fully developed in kids. Second, we did a study that found that kids multitask more than older generations yet seem to suffer from the same multitasking limitations (Carrier et al., 2009, Computers in Human Behavior).

  2. Kid's memory....I agree, they are really like sponge that can easily absorb everything they see and hear. I believe that's the reason why they can easily adapt the digital age of this generation. But sometimes I am wondering if they can feel that, doing a lot of things in school and bringing home assignments does make them feel so tired.... because they can still afford to sit and play with their laptop or personal computers. Thanks for the info.

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