Foundation– Who, What and Where You Are Teaching

I believe that all of you have already completed your e-portfolio and blog by now, so I am looking forward to read all your stories and reflections starting from tonight!  Just want to remind you that you don’t need to send me your reflection any more.  All your reflections should be posted in your blog.

We are moving to our first section today.  In this section, we will focus on the most important things that you need to know about education.  I think this will be good for most of you, since most of you are not education majors. I will suggest that you reflect on your own learning experiences a lot to help you understand about these educational theories and strategies.


To me, one of the exciting part of teaching is to meet my new students every semester.  Knowing you is not enough for me.  The most important part is to understand you.  If I can understand you and your generation, we will build up a good mutual relationship.  And I think this is very important to every teacher and student. We have a few freshmen in our class.  Let’s take a look at Class of 2016.  Do you agree with what they say?

We have briefly talk about the data generated from your student information sheets last time.  Those analysis can help you understand a little bit about today’s students.  Think about you and your siblings, or even your parents….Let’s make a list about the differences among three groups: you, your parents/ older siblings, and younger siblings/ kids in today’s society.  On the front of your index card, describe how you learn and what are the trendy things in your learning experiences; on the back of your index card, describe how you think your parents/ older siblings/ professors learn; on the second index card, describe how you think your younger siblings/ kids in today’s society learn and what the trendy things are in their classroom.

What are on your list?  Let’s share the ideas.

Is technology a big idea and the main theme emerging from our list?  How do you define technology?  Does technology equal to computer?

In Larry Cuban’s book “Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology since 1920″, he proposed that technology is the tool.  Therefore, a pen can be a technology.  Technology does not need to be a machine.  Technology can be multiple.  That is why you will see this term “ICTs” nowadays.  ICTs stands for “Information and Communication Technologies”.  However, some people believe that these tools are good for communication.  Communication can be multiple and should be more important than tools.  Hence, you will see ICT (Information and Communications Technology) sometimes.  But, no matter which term you use, the main purpose is how we can use these tools to help our learners learn well.  It is very SIGNIFICANT for you, as an educator, to know your learners.

But who are the 21st century learners?  What should we teach them?  I am going to show you three different videos and then we can talk about the ideas.

What is 21st Century Education?

How Will You Teach Me in the 21st Century?

The 21st Century Learners

Here are some guiding questions for you to think about these videos.

  • What is the big idea you get from these video clips?
  • Do you think the themes in these three videos are the same or different?  List the theme(s).
  • How important is the content?
  • How important is the skill?
  • How do you think about informal learning and formal learning?
  • Did you hear the term “digital native”?  Do you think you are one?
  • What is the role of teacher in the 21st century then?

I want to talk about one concept mentioned in the video clips– DIGITAL NATIVES.

Marc Prensky coined the terms “digital native” and “digital immigrant” to differentiate different generations.  People who were born after 1982 are “digital natives” who will be your future students.  People like me, who were born before 1982, are old generations and thus termed “digital immigrants”.  Do you agree with him?  Maybe not.

Here are four articles talking about Digital Generation.  Post your reflection on these four articles in your blog by next Friday (Jan. 25).  (4 articles sound a lot, I know…but they are really short articles.)

The Myth of the Digital Native

Digital Natives: Fact or Fiction?

Teachers Becoming More Digital Inclined.

What Does It Mean to be a Digital Native?


  • Keep thinking about some interesting topics that you want to work on with a certain group of students.


  • Work on your 4th reflection on digital generation.  Read the four articles listed above and answer the following questions. (Reflection is due by Friday, Jan. 25)
    • Do you see yourself as a digital native or a digital immigrant? Why?
    • How does the idea of a digital generation impact your potential to meet the needs of your future students?
    • How do you think about the problems raised by this kind of divide?

MUST (By Wednesday, Jan.23)

  • Read the first chapter in the book “Meaningful Learning”.  You can find the article in our shared Dropbox folder.  Then you need to write your reflection (at least 2 paragraphs) to answer 3 out of 4 guiding questions listed below.  This will be the reflection due next Wednesday (Jan. 23).

    • What is the big idea or takeaway you had from the Meaningful Learning with Technology chapter? Is it a new idea that inspires you?  Or is it a belief that you have already had and the authors just strengthen your belief?
    • Is there anything that surprises you? What is it?
    • Has any ideas in this chapter changed your idea about using technologies in education?  What is that idea and why?
    • Which of the skills described in this chapter are most important to you as an educator? Which are most important to comprehending and being able to apply ideas in your discipline?

    Reference: Howland,  J.L., Jonassen,D., & Marra, R.M. (2011). Meaningful learning with technology. (Fourth ed.). Boston, M.A. : Allyn.

  • Make sure that your first two reflections are in your blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s