Robin Good has another great article today on Educating the Net Generation. Ironic, given my previous post on the digital divide.
I completely agree that many in this new generation of kids are a different breed, with different approaches to learning and that schools need to learn to adapt their teaching protocols accordingly. But I also think that characterizing all learners as being this net savvy obscures the very real divide between the students who "have" and are becoming fluent in the digital world and those American students who do not come to school knowing how to use all of these great tools.
The article does a fabulous job of summarizing the key issues, challenges and changes necessary to foster independence in learning, something I think is sorely needed in our educational system. At the same time, we need to be careful to realize that while all kids need to learn these new kinds of skills, not all kids will come to school with the same foundational experiences upon which this kind of education can build. I also think to argue that this generation as a whole is more "education-oriented" is again, to miss the point. Yes, the students whose parents put pressure on them to get into elite colleges are feeling the crunch. But this doesn't represent all students, not by a long-shot.
Still, some good stuff here--just need to remember the students who don't fall into these categories.
UPDATE--Sometimes I'm too fast on my posting button--This article was written by Kassandra Barnes, Raymond Marateo and S. Pixy Ferris and originally appeared in Innovate. It was reprinted on Robin Good's site. So technically the title of this post is wrong, but it's already out there and too late to change it. Must give credit where it's due and apologies for being too quick on the trigger.