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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Idea Stream: Net Geners Teaching Net Geners

I've been chewing on this possible introduction to the research proposal I'm brewing together for my LIBR 285 class. What do you think if I explored the idea of Net Geners teaching Net Geners?

There’s so much research on this group… one of the heaviest researched generations in history in terms of information literacy and instruction but it always seems to come from the stand point of Us vs. Them: “They are different”… “They learn differently”. 

Idea of bridging the generational gap to reach the students to teach them comes into play. Question of whether or not they’re surpassing their teachers and parents in their knowledge of things related to technology. Do they know more than we do? Do we still have something valuable to teach them?

The question we shouldn’t be looking at in this day and in this time is now that the first wave of Net Geners has grown up, are their methods of teaching helping the younger classes learn any better? It’s not a matter of us vs. them. It’s a matter of us vs. us. 

Additionally… we’re all members of the Net Generation now as technology has imbued all of our lives in ways we take for granted now and don’t even realize anymore. Regardless of when a teacher is born, Net Gener, Digital Native, Digital Immigrant or not, are we using digital initiatives and emerging technology in a productive way to reach this generation of “children bathed in bits” on the same field as to ensure the progress of our future? We don’t need to bridge the gap anymore. We ‘re already there. 

While much of the field regarding the enigma of this generation has already been discussed in terms of how they learn, the time has come to look at how the Net Geners teach. What are they doing differently in their classrooms and are the students responding with favorable outcomes? 
A possible Outcome could be: "Improved Learning; happier, more engaged students"

Keywords: assessment; instruction; learning; e-learning; "UbD Understanding by Design"; cognitive apprenticeship

I've done a little bit of digging and so far I've come up with some possible leads:

  • Grant Wiggins & Jay McTighe
  • Engaging Ideas: The Proessor's Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking and Active Learning in the Classroom. 2nd Edition by John C. Bean
  • A Guide to Authentic E-Learning by Jan Herrington et al. (Routledge)
  • Allen Collins "Cognitive Apprenticeship"
  • Big name for information literacy instruction: Megan Oakleaf. (Project Muse)

Emailing Joanne for assistance gave me some ideas for evaluation and that's to think more along the lines of a qualitative researcher: 

"I wonder if you think more broadly about this topic and frame it as a qualitative study that seeks to better understand the experiences of...Net Gen teachers, or teachers who teach Net Gen students, or something to that effect.  Because I tend to approach research from a very qualitative stance, I automatically think about studies that seek to better understand or present someone's experiences or stories.  You could design a qualitative study (maybe a case study or an action research project) that contributes to the body of literature in this area, without focusing on issues such as curriculum, teaching and pedagogy, etc."

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