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