Understanding Digital Children - Ian Jukes


One element of my professional reading at the moment is reading through Ian Jukes “Understanding digital children (DK's) Teaching & Learning in the New Digital Landscape”.
Ian looks at the difference between digital kids and teachers and the impact that this has on teaching and learning.

At one point Ian summarises the differences between Native Learners (screenagers) and Teachers. We know that experience, like using a computer, will change the structure of our brain, This is a concept called Nueroplasticity. We also know that, the more intense the experience, the more profound the change. Our students, who often have a greater exposure to technology, are likely to be more nuerologically adapted, but adults can as easily be "Digital Natives". I think this is analogous with Prensky's “Digital native and Digital immigrants”. I can also see this tying into the concept of the Neo-Millennial learning styles [Dieterle-Dede-Schrier ] which looks at the students born after 1982 and their access to online materials and the impact that this has how they learn. Many of the concepts and comments in Juke's work are mirrored in the works of Prensky and Dieterle-Dede-Schrier in Neo-Millennial learning styles.

Video from Youtube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecFizWZgIiA

Media Exposure

Mark Prensky - in his papers digital natives and Digital immigrants, highlighted the exposure our students have to different forms of media.

Increasingly, the readings and research are converging towards the same point. Whether the two groups are called digital natives and digital immigrants; Native learners and teachers or Neo-Millennials the differences that are highlighted are very similar. The Digital Natives/Neo-millennials are different to us, their brains are different. Thijs is because of the experiences they have had.This is both reassuring and exciting
Again from Prensky's paper
Different kinds of experiences lead to different brain structures.
-Dr. Bruce D. Berry, Baylor College of Medicine

This is my summary of the differences

My summary of the digital divide

Native learners
(Digital Natives)
(Neo-Millennial Learners)

Emerging Digital learners
(Digital Immigrants)

Multiple multimedia information sources rapidly
Slow controlled information release – limited sources
Parallel process & multi-task
Singular process and single or limited task
Processing order
Picture, Video & Sound --> Text
Processing order
Text --> Picture, Video & Sound
Random access to interactive media
Linear, logical sequential access
Interact/network simultaneously to many
Interact/network simultaneously to few
Comfortable in virtual and real spaces
Comfortable in real spaces
Prefer interactive/network approach to work
Prefer students to work independently
“Just in time” learners
“Just in case” learners
Instant access, rewards & gratification
delayed/differed access, rewards & gratification
Learning is relevant, instantly useful and
Learning is to teach to the curriculum guide and standardized tests.

The extract from Ian's paper

“Summarizing the real digital divide…
  1. Native learners prefer receiving info quickly from multiple multimedia sources while many teachers prefer slow and controlled release of info from limited sources.
  2. Native learners prefer parallel processing and multi-tasking while many teachers prefer singular processing and single/limited-tasking.
  3. Native learners prefer processing pictures, sounds and video before text while many teachers prefer to provide text before pictures, sounds and video.
  4. Native learners prefer random access to hyperlinked, interactive, multimedia information while many teachers prefer to provide information linearly, logically and sequentially
  5. Native learners prefer to interact/network simultaneously with many others
  6. Native learners move seamlessly between real and virtual spaces instantaneously - virtual space is any location where people can meet using networked digital devices – chat rooms, blogs, wikis, podcasts, email, discussion threads that come and go – synchronous and asynchronous and with multitasking, can inhabit more than one virtual space at a time – while many teachers prefer to operate in real spaces.
  7. Many teachers prefer students to work independently rather than network and interact.
  8. Native learners prefer to learn “just-in-time” while many teachers prefer to teach “just-in-case” (it’s on the exam).
  9. Native learners want instant access to friends, services, and responses to questions, instant gratification and instant rewards while many teachers prefer deferred gratification and deferred rewards.
  10. Native learners prefer learning that is relevant, instantly useful and fun while many teachers prefer to teach to the curriculum guide and standardized tests.”


Pg 37 Understanding Digital Children (DKs)Teaching & Learning in the New Digital Landscape
By Ian Jukes & Anita Dosaj, The InfoSavvy Group
© The InfoSavvy Group, September, 2006
Prepared for the Singapore MOE Mass Lecture

Digital Students@analog Schools - video



Digital students@analog schools