The Reality of the Youth

It really seems to be the reality – the youth is connected, networked, online, creating (and more and more parents I spoke to confirm this) and we as teacher/parents let the gap getting bigger and bigger and bigger or even create an intergenerational wedge. (Living and Learning with New Media, page 37).

The summery of the The John D. and Catharina T. MacArthur Foundation in (Living and Learning with New Media, p. 35-39) articulate the reality of students in America (any other comparable research of other countries? Germany? Maybe the KIM-Studie? Europe?) very clearly and points out the following:

  • The youth is using networked publics for searching information as well for social and recreational activities online. Students hang out or messing around there, it can be both interest- or friendship-driven, but and it’s the first step to become more creative in a direction in which the youth is passionated for. (page 35)
  • The youth faces economic, institutional, social, and cultural barriers (page 36) which hinders a development from just hanging out to geeking out.
  • The youth is hanging out (friendship-driven) OR they are meeting link-minded people to share and contribute knowledge. Both groups use the networked platforms for developing social norms (without parents and teachers) to develop their identity.
  • The youth get chances of peer-based learning through networked activities whereat peers are important drivers of learning.
  • The youth creates own new media literacies like f.e. norms for being online.

And here it comes my perspective of a teacher:

If we don’t want to create this intergenerational gap, what do the new media literacies mean for us a learners and teachers?
Obviously Henry Jenkins and his team already thought about this few years ago: New Media Literacies.


We need to get trained, even more important train ourselves (Personal Learning Network) and share our knowledge and skills. My personal goal is to share more often and encourage people to be curious and excited about their learning. The make the goal more precise: I want to share here on the blog and our iPad blog at school and I want to share during our staff meeting as much as possible. I’m going to try to connect Primary and Secondary School vertically somehow because there are so many fantastic tools which are rather for teenager than for primary. That’s the beginning, I don’t know yet how to realize this in detail.

A big question for me still is – how do I (who is using technology in learning and teaching already a lot) get to the next step to actually CREATE something for a community? I guess, the unit planner is a start … Let’s see.


Connectivism and Learning Style

For quite a while I try already to be connected but I have been only a consumer on the Internet. Material for teaching, especially since I work without books, information for personal interest like traveling or cooking, and food for thought for my passion for education – everything was/is there. Always. I’m very thankful for everybody who contributed. THANK YOU. But it was only in one direction …

Since I try to get even more connected – meaning in both or many directions – (Facebook Groups, RSS, Forums, Twitter, Diigo, etc.) I feel so lost in Connectivism (in English / in German) sometimes. Following posts, reading what interests me is too overwhelming. I want to read and learn, but there is just too much out there. The content, the concepts and ideas don’t stick in my mind like I want them to get them connected to prior knowledge and understandings. I check my RSS and after hanging out for a while I ask myself what do I remember.

There might be a solution for this phenomena.

First, we as connected learner need to set priorities. It is okay not too read everything. It is impossible. Let’s choose what we want to know more about.

Second, the awareness of our learning style. Reflecting on my own learning style I realized for me it is not enough to just read an article or watch a video. I need to explain it to somebody (f.e. writing a post). I love to exchange opinions, love to hear other perspectives, love to question and to connect together with other people. Being connected within a network let us find like-minded people. In a conversation we can compare, connect and form our knowledge and our learning.
It also very helpful to write down the main learning. I thought about having a visual diary but unfortunately I’m not a good drawer and illustrator at all. So I’m writing somewhere.

So far my own reflections on being a Connected Learner.

In regards to being a Networked Educator, I am at the very beginning. There is still a big questions mark. I want to become/be a role model for the students. I don’t see this (yet) so much in Primary School. Although there is definitely a way to promote learning from others, learning through others. How can we prepare the students in Primary School to become a Connected/Networked Learner?