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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

BIGGERING

I love that word from Dr. Seuss' The Lorax: "Biggering". Given that it's the week after Thanksgiving, I find that word very appropo to my situation entirely. I'm not just talking about my expanding waistline (thanks Grad School! thanks a lot.), I'm talking about the culmination of my final projects this semester.

Specifically, I'd like to talk about this final project for 285. The task is to create a research proposal including: 
  1. A Research problem/question 
  2. Short literature review 
  3. The significance of the research 
  4. Plan for data collection and analysis 
My question is that pretty much all I learned from my research into the literature of how the Net Geners learn there are just two competing camps that both have very valid arguments. But the fact is, the research on this group is already so saturated, I just can't find an in anywhere! One possibility is maybe looking at how the older end of the Net Gener spectrum is teaching the younger.

From my lit review I determined the general consensus was that the age range of this particular group is 3rd grade to post graduate school now. The question was always whether teachers were able to bridge the digital divide and generational gap to reach these new students... but given time since the original argument came out... the Net Geners are now old enough to teach.

I could come up with a proposal where I look at new teachers in a specific age range to see if their methods have any improved effects on student learning outcomes but even this idea is so plagued with issues... 
  1. Do teachers really have THAT much control over what they get to teach and how they get to teach it? or is that primarily in the sole power of the administration? What if they're just copying traditional methods of teaching? 
  2. How do you even MEASURE how a kid is learning now vs. how they learned 10 years ago when the methods and topics have changed anyway?! 
  3. I don't know enough about teaching in the schools to make an academic enough argument to know whether what I'm proposing is even do-able! 
 Or quite possibly--I could reverse my view and instead of looking at how Net Geners LEARN, I could ask the question where I propose to study how do Net Geners TEACH? *head in hands* I should have started this paper LAST YEAR.

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