Wednesday, July 22, 2009

21st Century Learners

The 21st Century brings many challenges and demands. This era of radical and rapid change places demands on learners to increase their capacity for learning. Equally important, the need for Teachers (Learning Managers) to accept these learners and support their learning is discussed among many academics. Marc Prensky, an internationally acclaimed writer of the critical areas of learning and education, discusses some of the issues that arise between teachers and 21st century learners. 'Our students today are all “native speakers” of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet' (Prensky, 2001, p. 1). The term Digital Natives is given to individuals born into this digital age. Prensky explains that there can be difficulties with communicating with Digital Natives if there is little understanding of the language. He expresses the need for people to embrace this language and accept becoming Digital Immigrants. This term is used to acknowledge people who although are not born into the digital age, the are forced into the digital age and can have trouble accepting it, exploring and understanding the language.

Does being born in the early 80's make me a Digital Native or Digital Immigrant? I feel compelled to argue being a digital native. After all I was around when a tape went to CD! However, this isn't the case, there is still so much I don't know. When talking to students during practical visits I often engage in conversations about things I am not familiar with. This is rather important, as Prenksy discussed, for me to accept and understand their language I must learn what they are talking about.

To sum up, why is understanding 21st century learners so important? The importance of understanding an individuals needs and wants is one of the most relevant pieces of information to gather when constructing effective learning experiences. Without effective profiling, learners can often feel bored with concepts and topics chosen and disengage from learning experiences (Smith, Lynch and Knight, 2007, p. 79)

Reference List

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon. 9(5), 1-6.

Smith, R., Lynch, D. & Knight, B. (2007). Learning management: Transitioning teachers for national and international change. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Active Learning

Active learning refers to a learner being actively engaged and interested in their learning (The University of Melbourne, 2009). There are many strategies used to get students actively participating in their learning. One such strategy, which I find most useful as a Learning Manager, is collaborative learning. Working collaboratively provides students with the opportunity to utilise their own skills, knowledge and abilities to assit a group in achieveing their desired outcome. Each student has a unique style of thinking and learning, and collaborative learning can encourage each individualistic approach. To illustrate, Lamarche-Bisson (2002, p268) discusses how different learning styles work. Auditory learners love to talk and listen and are encouraged to work with others. Visual learners think in pictures and words. Kinaesthetic learners need to get involved to learn. Discovering each learners style is essential to distributing group roles and tasks. Group members provide one another with feedback, challenge one anothers conclusions and reasoning and perhaps most importantly, teaching and encouraging one another. In the collaboartive learning environment, the learners are challenged both socially and emotionally as they listen to different perspectives, and are required to defend their ideas. In so doing, learners begin to create their own unique frameworks (Lea, Postmes & Rogers, 2002).

Furthermore, this knowledge based economy that we live in has many technologies available to assist students with learning, none more collaborative than the use of the internet. Electronic discussion boards and chat rooms, for example, can help Learning Mangers and students enhance collaboration (Lea, Postmes & Rogers, 2002).

Reference List

Lamarche-Bisson, D. (2002). Learning styles- What are they? How can they help? World and I, 17(9). 268.

Lea, M., Postmes, T., & Rogers, P. (2002) Evaluation of a system to develop team players and improve productivity in collaborative learning groups. British Journal of Educational Technology, 33(1), 53-63.

The University of Melbourne. (2009). Academic Enrichment Services Academic Skills Unit, Retrieved July 20, 2009, from

Saturday, July 18, 2009


The Australian Government Net Alert (n.d) describes Netiquette as the rules for online behaviour derived from the two words Internet and etiquette. Rules such as not typing in capitals and responding appropriately when spoken to are some of the basic rules outlined. It can be seen that these two rules appear to be an everyday process that you can assume most people would adhere. However, another rule of Netiquette is not defaming people online. If this is a rule then why do we so often see this being broken? With such an immense online community it could almost seem impossible to monitor. Online communities are often filled with defamation of people in many forms; video, written, oral. So how can we ensure that people use such rules. I feel that this would be based on personal values.

Reference List

Australian Government Net Alert. (n.d). What is netiquette? Retrieved July 18, 2009, from

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Journey

My name is Anita Witt and I am a student at Central Queensland University (Rockhampton campus). I am currently completing my second year of Bachelor Learning Management (Primary). The purpose of this blog is to follow my journey through a subject I am currently completing, Managing E-Learning. I will experiment and research a range of technologies and pedagogical approaches to build a deep understanding of their application to learning.