Teaching the Digital Generation

Pete Brown's ramblings and reflections on teaching and learning in the 21st century.

DE Application

How have you as an educator transformed your learning environment?

Imagine yourself as a high school graduate, stepping out confidently; globally aware, willing to explore new ideas, embrace new opportunities, prepared and ready for a world you had once thought inconceivable. You are a life long self-directed learner; the world is your classroom. You nurture curiosity and imagination. You are a digital consumer and collaborator with professional etiquette and protocol. You understand why the world has flattened, is interconnected and why information continues to grow exponentially. You embrace tomorrows learning today. You know that connecting with others is how learning occurs. Your literacy is not just about ‘read and write’,  but is to learn, unlearn and relearn. You understand that in todays society collaboration and shared knowledge are highly prized skills. Ubiquity, embeddedness and unity is your foundation and this is my learning environment.

Students go beyond sequential thinking, challenged to measure their performance using ‘real-world’ samples of demonstrations of learning. They accomplish and exceed their learning goals through flexible assessment. It is here that we use the tools of today; mobile devices, social media, game-based learning and development, Minecraft, Web 2.0, assistive technology, cameras and drone helicopters, immersive journaling, TVs and LCD TVs and a flexible unblocking policy. Students work with a synergistic and a revolutionary force of collaboration and sharing, actively demonstrating their learning. My learning environment focusses on conceptual understanding, providing students with the ability to apply their knowledge in a variety of contexts. Progress is monitored and assessed as a shared responsibility.  We collaborate, create, communicate, curate and critically think together.

Illustrate how Apple technologies have helped in this transformation.

The iPad has been an enormous marker of change in my pedagogy, by putting access and control over learning into the hands of the students. Students use Immersive Journalling to crosspost and record authentic production using Apps such as Evernote, WordPress, Twitter and Instagram. They connect globally through FaceTime with Real Clients to actively collaborate, create, communicate and curate information. iBooks Author is used to develop portfolios, embedding multimedia, for authentic production. Students use iMovie to create content to publish online and for global consumers. AR Drones are controlled with their iPad to record and experience aerial photography. Augmented Reality Apps are used to create an immersive learning experience. Staff and students have open access to TVs in classrooms to challenge the notion of the ‘front’ of the class (Creative Learning Spaces). School Apps for staff, parents and students provide daily feeds and notices.

What successes have you seen with your learners?

Student attainment and achievement has risen through the creation of my ubiquitous learning environment. Students are more self-directed and immersed in the learning process. Through gamification students determine their personal entry points into learning as a foundation to meet and exceed learning goals. Through collaboration and embedded technology integration students seek and extend their audience to develop authentic production. They are doing this through building confidence, discussion and debate, and by developing respect for themselves and their peers. Students actively restate learning objectives, flip their learning and individually differentiate and meet deadlines with consistency and reliability. Students focus on Content Creation allowing them to develop wisdom and knowledge through active questioning rather than simply regurgitating answers.

How do you share these successes to influence the broader education community?

I created the concept of iLearniTeach as a flipped professional learning model supporting professional learning and training sessions. I employ thought leadership with colleagues to influence them and other educators on technology integration and the educational paradigm shift by demonstrating how technology integration should be imparted and learnt. iLearniTeach is delivered to staff through my blog iLearndifferent.com and to parents through iLearnconnected.com; posted to social media and College Apps. The aim of iLearndifferent.com is to share students successes and the markers of change in my pedagogy and of colleagues.

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