Writing Blog Entry 4 – “Do they really THINK differently?” (Marc Prensky)

In chapter 2 of Digital Divide, Marc Prensky dives deeper into why Digital Natives think differently than Digital Natives.  First, Prensky states that contrary to the belief that human minds are essentially built the same way, scientists have recently discovered that the human brain (as well as the brains of other creatures) do change their structure and how they function based on outside influences.  He then goes on to point out the outside influences Digital Natives are used to that differ from those Digital Immigrants grew up with, influences that Prensky thinks caused Digital Natives to excel at parallel thinking (aka doing multiple things seemingly at once), inductive discovery (aka making observations and understanding what they’re looking at through forming hypothesis), and quicker reflexes and responses to new stimuli.  This new, “random access” style of thinking isn’t present in schooling today; much of the education system is still linear and not interactive, which doesn’t appeal to Digital Natives.  In response to this new ‘way of thinking’ in Digital Natives, Prensky once again calls the teachers of today to adapt their teaching styles to suit the students, instead of forcing students to learn through older, conventional means that simply aren’t working.

URLs:

http://www.b2bmarketinginsider.com/content-marketing/thanks-social-media-average-attention-span-now-shorter-goldfish

– An article explaining why the average human attention span is now 1 second shorter than a goldfish’s.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/01/15/neuroplasticity-brain-health.aspx

– An article that goes deeper into neuroplasticity (the malleability of the brain)

– Young students using digital technology in the classroom

Discussion Q’s:

1) What are some ways that interactivity can be used in and out of classrooms as a teaching mechanism?

2) Are digital natives instinctively better at teaching other digital natives than digital immigrants are?

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