1. How do you prevent technology from taking over the curriculum essentials that you are trying to teach? What role do Prensky’s “verbs” and “nouns” pose in answering this question? Justify your answer.
With the concept of partner teaching, I feel, especially for beginners, this is a process in which baby steps must be taken. By doing this, you can gradually integrate different forms of technology to be used. This will prevent technology from overtaking the curriculum because a teacher will easily be able to notice if or when technology is not helping the learning process. They can then begin to limit the amount of technological resources being used. When planning for partner teaching and creating those essential questions, you must start with the verbs, or concepts, you would like the students to learn. The verbs have not changed much over time, while the nouns have, and the verbs are the focus of what is being taught. Then you add in the nouns, or tools, to help the students achieve the verbs. Prensky states many times that you don’t have to have a huge amount of technology for partner teaching, or any technology at all for that matter. The nouns are just a means for accomplishing the verbs, and this can be done in a variety of ways without technology. The curriculum and verbs are what you design the lessons based on, rather than designing lessons around the nouns.
2. In Dan Pink’s talk about the science of motivation, he says, “There is a mismatch between what science knows and what education does.” (Yes, I took the liberty of substituting “education” for “business”.) How do his three points (at the end of his talk) agree with Prensky’s teacher and student roles in partnering?
Pink’s points about intrinsic motivation agree with Prensky’s ideas about partnering in that it is most successful when the person is doing something they are passionate about and able to accomplish a task using their choice of methods. Both men agree that if you want engagement and good results, allowing self-direction works best. The way our schools are run are based on very outdated assumptions, not on scientific fact. There was a segment aired on the television show “60 Minutes” about Freeman Hrabowski and The University of Maryland Baltimore County. The changes Hrabowski has made at his University prove by involving people in activities they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to participate in while learning causes better outcomes. An example is having undergraduate students participate in studies normally reserved for graduate students. Hrabowski has worked very hard on getting the college students excited and curious about math and science, and the results are amazing, particularly the graduation rates. The students are no longer bored with math and science and are staying in these fields of study. (See my “More!” page for the Hrabowski video.)
3. Describe how Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concepts on “flow” can be applied to Partnering for teachers and students?
Csikszentmihalyi’s ideas are applicable to partnering teaching because partnering encourages finding a person’s passion to ensure a greater result. The concept of “flow” is based on someone doing what they really enjoy. If a teacher surveys a class to find their likes and dislikes, how they enjoy learning, etc. they can design the lesson and instruction based on the findings. If a person is happy and doing something they really enjoy, in that “flow” Csikszentmihalyi refers to, true learning will take place because the person is using higher order thinking and is truly engaged.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2004, February). Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow?language=en#t-852200
Hrabowski: An educator focused on math and science. (2011, November 13). [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/hrabowski-an-educator-focused-on-math-and-science/
Pink, D. (2009, July). Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation
Prensky, M. (2010). Teaching digital natives: Partnering for real learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
1. Discuss the apparent contradiction of the video “I Need My Teachers to Learn” and Prensky’s comments that “teachers do not need to learn to use it [technology] themselves.” How could you compare the ultimate goal of both approaches? Your opinion?
Initially I didn’t notice much of a contradiction between the two videos. I felt like the video “I Need My Teachers to Learn” was saying the same thing as Mr. Prensky – that teachers need to learn how to adapt their teaching methods to current trends, not that they need to learn to use technology. But I went back and reviewed the video by Mr. Honeycutt and felt that he was saying that the teachers need to learn to use the technology their students are using without being afraid, because it is holding the students back from developing many important skills. Mr. Honeycutt feels that the teachers need to know and understand the technology in order to teach students effectively in our day and time.
Mr. Prensky, however, does not find it necessary for educators to know how to use the technology. This is because he feels the students will be the users of the technology and the teachers are more like guides for the students to steer them in the right direction. If a teacher were to use the technology in their teaching, it would revert back to less of a student directed learning.
As for my opinion, I think there needs to be a balance. I don’t feel as though a teacher needs to be an expert on every single form of technology used in the world of education, but I do think it is helpful for a teacher to be familiar with the more common forms of technology used. If a teacher is completely in the dark about how these technology tools are used and what they are capable of, I feel like it would be very hard for them to be an effective partner or guide in the learning process.
2. Discuss one main point that Prensky poses in this week’s readings and provide links to and discussion about two or more articles, websites, videos, blogs, podcasts, etc. (from different authors) that contribute to this point.
One important point that Mr. Prensky (2010) made in the assigned readings this week was that “colleges and employers are also changing their expectations” (p. 27) as to what students should know and learn. This means that we, as K-12 educators have to change what and how we are teaching our students. If we don’t, we are not preparing them adequately for the future.
According to an article on educationworld.com, students are learning the important core content in school, but this is not sufficient. They need to know other skills, such as working on teams and in groups. This is so vital because a large majority of careers and employers require employees to work in this manner (Caron, 2011).
An article by Dostis (2013) further proves this point. She states that “fewer than two in five hiring managers who had interviewed recent graduates in the past two years found them prepared for a job in their field of study” (Dostis, 2013). A big cause of this is because the rate at which our world and workforce requirements are changing is occurring to fast for the schools to keep up.All of this information is worrisome. If educators are not able to adapt our methods, we are going to fail our students. If our students aren’t prepared to take on jobs, the future of our world could be in jeopardy.
3. Give one instructional example of each component of C-Rea-T-E in Partnering and justify each example. Your examples may come from the Prensky book or you make up examples in keeping with Prensky’s philosophy.
|C||“One student who learned that his grandmother has cancer was able to find online, by himself, using skills he had learned, not only the best hospital for her to go to, but the name of the doctor with the best success rate in dealing with the particular cancer she had” (Prensky, 2010, p. 20).||Level 5 – student generated project, complex thinking like a content expert, planning.|
|R||“Students made a video on genetically modified food that changed their parents’ shopping habits” (Prensky, 2010, p. 20)||Level 4 – Learning emphasizes and impacts the classroom, school, or community.|
|Ea||“Peer-to-peer learning” (Prensky, 2010, p. 26)||Level 4 – students partner with the teacher to define the content, process, and/or product, students collaborate with other students.|
|Te||“Student-made video about not videoing other students and posting it on YouTube” (Prensky, 2010, p. 23).||Level 4 – technology is essential to project completion, promotes collaboration among students, helps solve a problem|
Caron, S. W. (2011). Tomorrow’s Workforce: What Students Need. Education World. Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/tomorrows-workforce-what-students-need.shtml
Dostis, M. (2013). Degree Alone Not Enough to Prepare Grads for Workforce. USA Today. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/31/more-than-a-college-degree/3324303/
I Need My Teachers to Learn (Kevin Honeycutt). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwOCY0nPDG0
Marc Prensky – Wartburg College Commission on Mission. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCBztboW348&feature=related
Prensky, M. (2010). Teaching digital natives: Partnering for real learning. Thousand Oaks, CA:Corwin Press.