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March 16, 2009

Globalisation & Diversity – week 4

A summary of how the combination of e-learning and the necessary related technology, will impact the education of the next generations. Is this a step forward or backwards?

The combination of learning and technology to form e-learning has more recently been visioned in the form of “educational games” by the likes of Marc Prensky and Mathew Resnick. Prensky, particularly, argues that the current generation of ‘Digital Natives’ learn differently from previous generations: “Our students are no longer ‘little versions of us,’ … they are so different from us that we can no longer use either our 20th century knowledge or our training as a guide to what is best for them educationally” (Prensky, 2006, ¶ 3). The issue with designing e-learning related products lies in defining just how students best learn (Prensky, 2003) and just what it is that makes engaging learning materials ‘fun’ (Resnick, 2006).

While investigation into the application of current knowledge and research concerning learning styles with technology can be viewed as a step forward if the blend is right, poor implementations of learning objects into technology for technology’s sake as a replacement for structured classroom education at this stage would be seen as a backward step.

Prensky, M. (2003). e-Nough!. Retrieved March 1, 2008, from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20e-Nough%20-%20OTH%2011-1%20March%202003.pdf

Prensky, M. (2006). Listen to the Natives. Retrieved March 16, 2009, from http://www.ascd.org/authors/ed_lead/el200512_prensky.html

Resnick, M. (2006) Computer as Paintbrush: Technology, Play, and the Creative Society. Retrieved July 27, 2008, from http://llk.media.mit.edu/papers/playlearn-handout.pdf

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