Literacy isn’t Enough: Digital Fluency in the Age of Infowhelm- Presentation by Ian Jukes- NECC08

Kids are different today!

They are maturing 2 years earlier.

Evidence is mounting that due to digital experiences OUTSIDE of school their brains are quickly adapting to the experiences that are aware. The kids are becoming “screenagers”. They understand that things on screens are suppose to be manipulated. They understand the medium as a place to interact with and not to passively sit and take in. Essentially, Digital is their first language. They are DFL (Digital as a First Language). They are digital natives while we (adults) are digital immigrants… we come from another country where no digital was (is) spoken.

This change in children is both physically and chemically different than us! They have “hyperlinked” minds. We don’t understand all of this as of now, but there are some things we do understand.

When we are born we have only about 50% of the brain functions. It was believed that the other half happens after birth. It WAS believed that by about 3 or 4 years the brains stablize… they are essentially the same. This belief has been changed.

INSTEAD… it is now believed that the brain is reorganizing itself based upon:


What that means is that we can improve our memory. Improve our intelligence. The brain exhibits Neuroplasticity.

Four books Ian recommends:

The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science (James H. Silberman Books) The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge, M.D.

Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School (Book & DVD)Brain Rules, By John Medina <– Includes a DVD with 10 brain rules!

Everything Bad is Good for YouEverything Bad is Good For You, by Steven Johnson

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future A Whole New Mind, By Daniel H. Pink

Going back to Inputs and Duration/Intensity….

MMORPG…. Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games and Video games and the internet and TV and iPods and computers is changing children’s brains.

The Tree of HypatiaA brain is like a tree. As it grows it grows it gains roots and branches and leaves, etc. If parts are not used (neural pathways) are pruned away. Pathways that built in early life and used most often are the strongest and the ones that will last the most time. If a student is using their brains only for sports, or reading, or music then those will be the most useful and which will withstand pruning. If they are interacting with and in digital environment then those are the ones who become the strongest and the most effective. Thus kids in the digital environment (and that is most kids today)… they build strong visual memory, strong auditory memories.

AND… note to self…. if you don’t USE IT YOU LOSE IT! (ouch)

Special note from Ian… “I don’t ever want to see kids in primary grades going to computer labs. If kids are going to watch TV, we should watch TV with them. Same holds true with Computers. We are looking for balance.”

Human Brain Project: Thanks to FMRI (Functional Brain Imaging)

Recently introduced the “Brainbow“… allows for color coding and better understanding how the brain connects with itself and operates.
Introduced the idea that game playing and digital interaction is changing the way people are interacting with visual images. Essentially, the young humans who are being trained to take things in visually.

60,000 time faster with photos than text.

Brain capacity…
Visual 30%
Touch 3%
hearing 3%

87% in most classrooms are visual kniestthetic

Zenrock2_1Non-Digital natives use the Golden Mean in the way they read… in a Z curve.

Thanks to Presentation Zen for this image and you should check it out Garr Reynolds wonderful entry. This is a great blog! Buy his book! I hear it is great!

He states:

The “rule of thirds” is a simplified version of the golden mean. The rule of thirds is a basic technique that photographers learn to frame their shots. Subjects placed exactly in the middle can often make for an uninteresting photo. The golden mean would be wonderful to apply when taking snaps, but obviously this is not practical. But a viewfinder can be divided by lines — real or just imagined — so that you have four intersecting lines or crossing points and 9 rectangles that resemble a tic-tac-toe board. These four crossing points (also called power points, if you can believe it) are areas you might place your main subject, rather than in the center.

Digital kids: Scan in an “F’ pattern. They look at things differently. They are into fast information. They prefer parallel processing and multitasking. They can do “continuous partial attention”. We can all do this but kids need for speed, they can do it faster and and with multiple inputs. Then… they go to this…

Or this…

This just in from the blogger cafe posted from Christian Long: I’ve just posted this UStream vid to my Facebook profile. ALL my students are now watching you guys. They love everything you’re doing. One kid just chatted: “Man, those are some forward thinking teachers. Mine still use overhead projectors to read notes. Wish I could be in San Antonio…”

Kids need, want and expect “just-in-time” learning. Schools want to test “just-case-time”. The kids need to aquire the skills they need to know. They want rewards. Immediate rewards. They need to have rewards that are not necessary for us, but for them it needs to be intrinsic and immediate.

Ok.. enough for now. Time to go to Blogger’s cafe!

More from NECC later!

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