11.26.2008

Living and learning with new media...

A recent report arrived this week: Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of findings from the Digital Youth Project. This joint project was carried out by the University of Southern California and the University of Berkeley. Granted by the MacArthur foundation.

Some major findings from the report are interesting in the frame of mathetic learning.

Youth uses online media in the first place to extend friendships and interests.
The majority of youth is "always on" , contacting friends they know already in real life and just "hanging out"and extending their friendships.
Just a small group is using the web for exploring interests and finding information. Driven by their interests they find peers outside their local community.

Youth engage in peer based, self directed learning online.
By trial and error the majority of youth learns themselves various forms of technical and media literacy. The digital world lowers barriers to self directed learning. "Geeking out" is just for a small part of youth. They dive into a particular topic or explore their talent. This way of behavior erases the traditional markers of status and authority.

New media allow for a degree of freedom and autonomy that is less apparent in an average classroom. Youth respect one another's authority online and they are often more motivated to learn from peers than from adults.

Adults should facilitate young people's engagement with digital media.
They learn basic social and technical skills, demonstrate open and experimental behavior that is certainly not present in all educational institutions.

Adults can play an important role in interest-driven participation.
Although often learning from peers, youth can use adults as more mature role models, and specialized peers.

Tests to measure these capacities are in fact not yet available.

Parallel to these findings are some results from Neuropsychological research:

During young adulthood the brain of pupils is still under heavy construction. Planning and taking well balanced decisions is therefore difficult for them. Experiments, where young adults (12-17 year) were treated as if they could make their own plans completely independent, did not succeed in for instance the Netherlands. Educators discovered that they overestimated these capacities. Adults are better able to take balanced decisions and can play an important role, especially when they are seen as democratic peers, with knowledge at an expert level.

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1 reacties:

Anonymous Anoniem zei...

Read the report too. It arrives at the proper moment. In our country we see a turn back to the old basics. Completely ignoring needs and practices of our present ICT youth.

Karen Gingrich, teacher secondary education USA

5:44 p.m.  

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