Saturday, December 1, 2007

Asking Prensky about Digital Natives/Immigrants

I did get to ask Marc Prensky about the debate surrounding his terms of digital natives and digital immigrants. He said he has asked CUE for an opportunity to respond to Thornburg's article, so I'll be looking for that in a future CUE publication!

Monday, November 26, 2007

CLMS/CLHS/CUE Technology Conference

I will present two workshops at the CLMS/CLHS/CUE Technology Conference Nov. 29 - Dec. 1, 2007. On Friday, Nov. 30 from 1-2pm I will present "Virtual Worlds for Language Arts and Social Studies". The workshop includes time to participate as either a Native American or a white settler in the online virtual world of "Yosemite Valley" during the 1850's. Teachers will learn beginning steps in how to design their own virtual world, and will explore already-created virtual worlds they can use for language arts and social studies. Using a MOO environment, these already-created, free virtual worlds include Poetry KaMOO, Trojan Horse KaMOO, and Aeneid KaMOO. Complete lesson plans and links for the Aeneid KaMOO can be downloaded from Aeneid Lessons.

On Sunday, Dec. 2, from 9:30-10:30am I will present "Multimedia Keys to Reach All Students". This workshop will presents practical ideas on how to harness the power of multimedia to help our diverse student population achieve academic success. This workshop includes a free drawing for CD's of multimedia presentations used in the workshop.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants

In the Fall 2007 publication of OnCUE, David Thornburg published an article titled The Myth of the Digital Native. He took issue with the notion of digital natives vs. digital immigrants. He says, "I've since come to find that the distinction is deeply flawed. This brief article is, therefore, my apology for having been suckered into a presumed cultural difference that could be expressed as a sound bite. I was wrong."

Prensky's 2001 book, Digital Game-Based Learning (2001, McGraw-Hill), helped popularize the idea that the gap between the digital knowledge of today's students and those 30 years of age and older, could be termed Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants. To relegate this insight to the category of a "sound bite" does a disservice to both Prensky and the concept portrayed by this phrase. Thornburg takes the view that this concept of digital natives vs. digital immigrants somehow places students on a pedestal of thinking that they are, somehow, better equipped to understand technology than those of us 30 years of age and older. At its best, the concept helps us to understand why learning and adapting to technologies seems to come more easily to the younger generation, just as learning a new language is much easier when a person is young. Like the accent many adults learners maintain when speaking a second language, those of us not born in the digital age have adapted to the new technologies, but we still have an "accent" compared to today's students. It's interesting that OnCUE published this article just one month before CUE will help to host the CLMS/CLHS/NHSA & CUE Technology Conference in Monterey, CA (November 30-Necember 2), where Marc Prensky will be one of the featured speakers. Maybe I'll get to ask him about it at the conference.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


How safe are students on the internet? I attended a CyberCitizen Summit conference at Yahoo on Friday, Oct. 19 and heard speakers such as Dave Warlick and Nancy Willard address this issue. Here's a quick news clip from the conference.
For more information on CyberCitizenship check out CTAP4's website . It has links to games and great videos for students informing them about cybersafety. Another source, especially for parents, is Nancy Willard's site. Union Middle School's Media Librarian, Janette Adams, was also interviewed after the Yahoo conference on CyberSafety. You can see her video clip at this link.
This link also has a great article regarding CyberSafety.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Technology Plans

I just attended a workshop on the EETT Formula Program to learn more about creating a new Technology Plan for our district. The workshop was very informative and provided great resources, such as the CTAP 5 Grant Resource Center. The Santa Clara County Office of Education will hold a similar workshop at SCCOE September 13, 2007. Contact Diana Paradise at for more information.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Technology Plans

Is your district's Technology Plan up-to-date? Districts in California need to apply before December 7, 2007 to be approved for their Tech Plans and to participate in the E-rate program. See schooloop for more information regarding the E-Rate program. See the California Dept. of Ed.'s site for Technology Plan information.

Monday, July 2, 2007

CUE Conferences

If you haven't thought about presenting or attending the 2008 CUE conference in Palm Springs, you should seriously think about it. Besides having great hands-on workshops and sessions on ways to integrate technology into the curriculum, this year they are also offering short 20 minute "CUE" tips. I've submitted to present a Cue Tip on how students and teachers can add backgrounds to photos, literally immersing students in the curriculum! To the right is an example of how we recently had students dress up in costumes to prepare for their role-playing of characters from the Aeneid. You can download the handout I'll present from tipsPS.doc. The annual CUE in Palm Springs will be held March 6-8, 2008. Can't wait that long for your technology conference fix? Then check out the CLMS Technology Conference in
Monterey, November 29-Dec. 2, 2007

Great Resource

I found a great blog site posted by Mark Wagner at edtechlife. He posted a lot about what he learned at the recent NECC conference. One very useful post was about RSS links to educational journals, and how you can have these links automatically feed to a free Google Reader. Just go to Google, get a free gmail account, and check out the Google Reader. You then simply add "subscriptions" (RSS feed links) into the Reader. Then go to the reader and check out the latest info as it regularly updates for you. I found several articls relating to gaming in education that I would not have found otherwise. Thanks Mark W.!

Invited by U.S. Dept. of Educ. to Review Games in Education

Monday, July 9, I'm off to Madison WI. I was invited by the Dept. of Education to sit on a review panel and listen to presentations by grant recipients who are developing games and simulations for the Dept. of Education.

One product I will review is under the direction of Kurt Squire. I read some of his work while developing my dissertations's literature review, and also saw him moderate panels and also give talks at last year's
Games, Learning, and Society conference in Madison WI. (I attended
GLS last year and presented my Rome KaMOO). I feel privileged to get a look at one of Squire's recent projects. The project, "Augmented Reality Simulation Games for Mathematics and Literacy Learning with Emerging Mobile Technologies" seeks to leverage the effectiveness of AR simulation games on mobile computers with global positioning systems to improve middle school mathematics and literacy instruction and student achievement in those fields. Its target populations are under-served urban middle school students and teachers.

I will also participate on a review panel evaluating a University of Oklahoma project that "plans to incorporate current digital game-based learning research to develop an interactive game environment in order to allow students to experience a wide array of real-world challenges that require a combination of team collaboration and the constant use of a series of process and content standards. The project will also introduce teachers to a form of professional development, Lesson Study, that promotes a cross-curricular team to collaboratively plan, teach, observe and reflect on student engagement and interaction during the researach lesson."

Incorporating game-based strategies into the curriculum is one of the elements in my dissertation, so I am very excited to serve on these panels. Stay tuned on further blogs as I go on site!