Feeding the Need

I came across a terminology that I found interesting. NML – New Millennium Learners. OECD/CERI International Conference “Learning in the 21st Century: Research, Innovation and Policy”, discusses about what effects that digital technologies have on K – 12 students. It is a society that has access to internet connections (Wi-Fi), mobile phones, and video games. Digital natives that are born into digital exposure or if the community is exposed to technology at an earlier age, the OECD discusses how can the speed of information for the New Millennium Learners manage and later transfer to knowledge. This addresses two issues: how readily the young generation adapts to technology and the policy needed to monitor the effects of technologies on different levels. Technology is available everywhere, but in schools – access to technology is limited.

A personal interview with Aaron*, (July 13, 2011), who is currently a senior at his high school, commented that “almost everyone at my school has an iPod, iPad, or mobile phone that connects to the internet” and “we hang out at the Wi-Fi coffee shops or the local McDonalds during our lunch breaks or open period to connect with the latest news or technology.” This certainly puts an interesting perspective of how rapidly technology is growing for the NML, along with schools struggling to keep up with the demand. On average, younger groups that have been exposed to computers, video games, or some other form of digital technology, display a higher level of comfort ability than the older generations that have been termed as digital immigrants that have later adopted technology. Digital technology has become so important to the younger generation in their daily lives, that going without technology renders the NML to a halt on adaptations to newer technologies.

So what can do teachers do to bring actual teaching practices of the latest technology used by NML?

OECD (2008), “New Millennium Learners. Initial findings on the effects of digital technologies on school-age learners“, OECD/CERI International Conference “Learning in the 21st Century: Research, Innovation and Policy”, 15–16 May 2008 Paris

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About cadeleo
My name is Christina DeLeo, I am a grad student working on completing my Master's of Educational Technology degree at Boise State University.

2 Responses to Feeding the Need

  1. Kae says:

    For me – this was the report that really made a difference. It bothers me that it was produced in 2005 and I still don’t see schools adopting new media literacy.

    Jenkins, H., Puroshotma, R., Clinton, K., Weigel, M., & Robinson, A. (2005). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. Retrieved June 20, 2011 from http://www.newmedialiteracies.org/files/working/NMLWhitePaper.pdf

    • cadeleo says:

      Kae, thank you for sharing that interesting article. The one thing that stuck with me was the new social skills that the younger generations are developing. A more systematic and structured approach with social networking. Students are not dealing with technology in isolation, but rather evolving into an inter-relational culture. Digital technologies are coming into the classroom, not because it’s a choice, but out of necessity. I can certainly understand why students prefer technology rather than the pencil and paper. There is no interaction with your paper and pencil, but you can have interaction with your laptop, mobile device, or desktop.

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