Finding a Home Among Digital Natives
In our education technology dreams, we can see young people using technology to engage in learning about a multitude of subjects, develop skills that will solve tomorrow's problems, connect to people around the world, and prepare for jobs we can't even conceptualize.
In our nightmares, we see young people who can't write complete sentences because they know how to write only in text-speak, lack social skills because they spend too much time in front of a screen and too little time learning how to interact with others face-to-face, and can't distinguish quality content from garbage. For many of us, these dreams and nightmares are daily realities. For others, these may sound like the possibilities and problems of a distant future.
Wherever your experience and opinions fall on this continuum, we can all agree that technology is here: it is a large part of most young people's lives, and we have an opportunity and a responsibility to harness its power for good and reduce its power to harm. To deny the challenges and focus with rose-colored glasses only on the positives and possibilities will shortchange our young people. Alternatively, having realistic and candid conversations about the challenges and opportunities, identifying promising practices and tools, and staying tightly connected to young people's use and experiences are essential to utilizing technology to keep students healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
Throughout February, we're taking a hard look at what it takes to meaningfully integrate technology into students' lives to help them achieve the academic, social, and emotional learning and development key to their success. Download the most recent Whole Child Podcast, read and post your comments on the Whole Child Blog, and e-mail us resources for and examples of connecting digital learners.
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