Andy Guess (Inside Higher Ed):
So technology’s utility in the classroom comes down to how it is used. The question, then, is: How can educators adapt their teaching methods to emerging technologies? And should they?
Skeptics might point out that even students themselves are ambivalent when it comes to using the Internet and other digital tools for class, as the survey highlights. But the study’s introduction, written by Chris Dede of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, suggests what professors can expect from digital natives’ evolving modes of learning, what he calls “neomillennial learning styles.”
As new methods of interacting with information become more ubiquitous, he suggests, citing Second Life-type virtual immersion environments as an example, students will grow up with different expectations and preferences for acquiring knowledge and skills. The implication is less of an emphasis on the “sage on the stage” and a linear acquisition process focusing on a “single best source,” focusing instead on “active learning” that comes from synthesizing information from multiple types of media.
Noting that traditional ways of thinking and learning are undergoing a “sea change,” Dede encourages a fusion of new and old. But what form that will take, exactly, is not addressed directly in the report.