Six hours a day. That’s how much time the average teenager spends online, according to a June 2013 study by McAfee. These are “digital natives,” a generation that has grown up online and connected.
Just think about it: students born in 2007, the year the iPhone was launched, are already in first grade. Students born during the dot-com boom of the late ’90s are in high school. These students have never known a world without the Internet. They’re communicating 140 characters at a time, establishing completely new ways of consuming news and information.
Clearly, dictating to digital natives that they “power down” in school is a huge turn-off. Yet many adults express concern that students won’t be able to learn as effectively in classrooms that are fundamentally different from their own experiences. Educators are increasingly breaking through that resistance to create a learning experience using technology to engage today’s learners and improve outcomes, with benefits that include:
1) Personalizing the learning experience
2) Learning how to learn
3) Putting students in charge
4) Helping students disconnect from the Twitter-verse and spend more time on task
5) Encouraging constructive communication http://www.forbes.com/sites/schoolboard/2014/02/28/ed-tech-is-poised-to-go-mainstream/