Welcome to the iGeneration (Part 2): The Simple Revolution

Allowing students to achieve identified learning outcomes in a manner most suitable to them, while providing them with the opportunities to determine when, how and with what they choose to learn, are probably the most fundamental issues in establishing a meaningful and authentic learning experience.  It should come as no surprise that these concepts flow quite naturally from the three components of an authentic learning experience (quoted from the previous post):

  1. engagement (meaningful brain activity, not to be confused with entertainment),
  2. relevant and compelling assignments (requiring calculation, manipulation and
    synthesis; not merely searching and finding basic information), and
  3. a high level of personalisation (allowing for immediate individualised feedback, choice of application and ensuring that learning is at an appropriate level).

This understanding is not new; in fact, most adults will acknowledge that these three components are timeless (as Chickering and Gamson have pointed out, and as will be discussed in a future posting).  Yet, after decades of boring and uninspiring education, there is little evidence that we are actually implementing any of the three components of authentic learning in our classrooms.  Technologically, platform-independent  schools1. are few and far between, and students are still required to use whatever technology the school chooses to permit/favour at any given time.  This is not natural; it is not organic.  It is artificial beyond belief.

A great way to start changing the learning environment in a meaningful way is as simple as welcoming the technology that students wish to bring to their learning.  This will initiate a subtle learning revolution that will be evolutionary in its effect.   Not only will this foster engagement, independence and personalisation; it will certainly go a long way to make learning much more relevant and compelling.  As Sir Ken Robinson so convincingly says: “Bring on the revolution!”

Eddie de Beer


1. For the purpose of this post, “platform independence” refers to the use of multiple, portable technology devices in schools: PC (laptop and tablet computers), Apple (iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac computers), Android and Blackberry (tablets, cell and smart phones) devices; as well as software/web-based technologies that can run on these multiple hardware platforms.


Welcome to the iGeneration (Part 2): The Simple Revolution — 1 Comment

  1. I think this is a very useful lesson to everyone involved in learning and education. I especially like the part where it states that kids should be able to learn in a way that interest them and which will help involve and engage kids in every lesson or topic, this could possibly be achieved by using technology in a affective way. I think if teachers could master this skill, kids would be more enthusiastic about learning and going to school. Even if the number of kids in each class that were interested in the lesson increased, I think something great could result of it. Kids could be sharing ideas that could intrigue other kids into the discussion, creating a web of never ending involvement for all the children. School these days (and even in the past) is stereotypically thought of to be boring, work, a means to discipline kids into the ways the teachers want it or in a way that teachers can do as little as possible, but why? Shouldn't education be about discovery and learning about the world we live in? Hopefully with the great ideas of this blog and the many ideas out there in the world like these ideas, something great will happen.