So what does this “cloud” of social networking within which our students continuously engage demand for my lessons?
Lessons must Fire It Up!
Students live in a world of instant gratification, engaged by peer to peer technology with phones, online games and chats. Their world fills with the fun this “instancy” and engagement provides; they are constantly stimulated in ways that create more neural pathways more quickly than ever did ours.
These are the children who come to us; we must accept that we must change. “It’s up to us to adjust to those patterns and pathways,” explains Brad Fountain in Understanding Your Students’ iBrains . We cannot even envision our students’ abilities, yet we must provide for them. And from Brad’s presentation I heard how students expect relevance, instant gratification, engagement, and fun. Because their social networking and multi-tasking allows them to participate in many activities at once, making frequent choices of interest to them, their patterns of learning expect the same from us. Therefore, I devised an acronym for my new curriculum planning: Fire It Up!
I must create a Fun and Instant lesson: frequent acknowledgment (gratification). It’s Relevance stems from student interest or interactive choices. The choices, discussion, and technological aspects Engage the students. Various Integrated Tasks with choices and interaction create Ubiquitous Pathways to learn curricular content.
The “ten minute” rule is crucial — but for some students it’s ten seconds! What question can I ask or video/image to display will capture the imagination and engagement of students so they focus and forge into the learning tasks? It reminds me of the years-past recommendation in science to create a disconnect with the expected outcome as a precursor to the lesson. The “novel” engagement that nabs the mind.
Students brains are different than ours. I relearned this today. How?
First, since I engage myself in some of the networks to which my students subscribe, including Twitter , I learned about today’s DEN (Discovery Education Network) Virtual Conference. I linked from Twitter to a signup page, signed up, checked email for registration info, clicked the link, and started the conference. Amazing.
I participated in:
Raise Your Hand if You’re a Rock Star (partial)
No Mind Left Behind: Using Media to Reach Your Students
Jannita Demian and Matt Monjan
Understanding Your Students’ iBrains
From Understanding Your Students’ iBrains with Brad Fountain, I learned again that student’s brains learn differently than ours; they demand fun, instant gratification, relevance, and engagement. Therefore, I must Fire It Up! Thanks, Brad.
And students, what should WE do to Fire It Up? Let’s power up the neurons!
Neurons in the brain
Credit: Dr Jonathan Clarke. Wellcome Images