Daily tasks on Thursday, 12-02-2015

  • Literature:
    • Prensky: Digital natives, digital immigrants; accessed on http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf; accessed at: 11-02-2015, 17 PM.
    • Professor Weber-Wulff’s slide on the lecture: “Game based learning”.

Unfortuantely, I couldn’t attend class this day, because I became sick including fever and stuff. I was certified sick by my doctor since upcoming wednesday, but today – on saturday – I’m feeling a bit better because the fever has gone.  So let me write down my learning results after I read through the paper “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants” and the slides of the lecture.

Lecture and Literature

I couldn’t attend it, but worked through the slides. First, I was pleased by the first slide explaining learning.  Learning was explained not to be just like the game “Trivial pursuit” where you have to answer questions and can answer either right or wrong, but it is meant to be more “the process of acquiring knowledge or understanding”, trigger development of “capabilities or competence” and “improving jugdgement or modifying behavior”. The ‘or’ separates the outcomes of learning – on the one side, the minimum level like “acquiring knowledge” and the maximum level like “understanding” on the right side.

So here we have a definition of learning that crosses multiple items in Bloom’s taxonony while having the modification of behaviour as the best possible result. If I look back, especially in my developer’s career I changed my bevavior several times as result of learning – so learning was really effective I guess.

I read Prensky’s paper on Wednesday to prepare for the lesson. So in his article, he talks about game-based learning and how it improves the traditional learning by having a more goal-oriented approach. He stated, that digital immigrants have their own accent (like if they would have to learn another language and would ever have an accent). E.g., he said that the information processing of both differs a lot and so he uses the term “Digital Natives” for those, whose brains already changed due to the change of our information environment. I liked the example of the primary source of searching for information: a digital immigrant would use the internet secondary, while a digital native would use it primarly. Following this example, I count myself as digital native.

I liked when he stated, that many teachers don’t believe that their students learn successfully while parallely doing other things. Well, I grew up having my TV and PC turned of parallely – for me, this is pretty normal.  But I would never say “www.hungry.com” to mention it here ( ;) ) – I think, those fragments are more part of the next younger generation of ours.

So, Prensky talked about how to improve methodology and content of today’s didactics in order to fit the target group – digital natives – better. He named things like “less step-by-step”, “more in paralell” (p. 4) etc.. I really like the idea and if I look at my own studies which are mostly dominated by Blended Learning, that methdology is mostly already applied – well, I’m studying a computer science – related discipline and I’m at a university of applied sciences, so there might be a difference to other studies and traditional universities.

In general, I really agree into the ‘contents’ part: Prensky is talking about “Legacy” and “future” (p. 4.), while legacy elements are part of our traditional curriculum, like basic culture technologies (reading, writing,…) and “future” is more “digital and technological” to fulfill our digitalized world. Therefore, Future includes “software, hardware, (…), nanotechnology” and so on.

The most important thing in the article was the game “Monkey wrench” where Prensky wanted to show the capabilities of game-based-learning. Herem they focused on a more “learning-by-doing” approach instead of having professors hand in traditional-structured lectures like “lesson 1 – the interface” or similar. This new approach also allows students to make mistakes – because they help to learn better. This kind of learning is also “goal-oriented”, so you don’t have to learn pure facts without application, but a more practical approach. Premsky therefore also introduced a method that allows students to select from their learning objects themselves (vs. the traditional linear chain of contents).

Game-based learning also allows to support learners that have “parasocial feelings” – this part of our professor’s slide is really interesting. So, artificial characters might gain a better access to those learners.

To sum it up, game-based learning is a field that we should really take care of in Didaktics of Media – because it is the key to the Digital natives generation – which is really important because the current generation grew up having smartphones and tablet computers from the first year one.