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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

June 4 Webinar: "Engaging the Digital Generation: Insights from Kids, Teachers, and Parents"

Related Tags: Teacher Development

Today's students use digital media in ways hardly imaginable just a few years ago, revolutionizing how kids create, collaborate, and teach one another, and Edutopia is continuously investigating the impact of this revolution on teaching and learning in public education.

On June 4, 2009, a stimulating discussion took place with innovative educators and students interviewed as part of Edutopia's Digital Generation Project, and they shared practical tools and strategies for engaging the digital learner. Below, continue the discussion by asking questions of a couple of the experts who contributed to the project, or just join in the conversation.

Webinar Resources

About the Host

Amy Erin Borovoy

Amy Erin Borovoy is coordinating producer for Edutopia video. Prior to joining The George Lucas Educational Foundation in 2005, she spent several years line producing television specials for the History Channel. Her experience also includes serving as a freelance associate producer on a number of educational television pilots and working on a media-literacy project for the KQED Center for Education and Lifelong Learning.

About the Presenters

Nichole Pinkard

Nichole Pinkard is founder of the Digital Youth Network and director of innovation for the University of Chicago's Urban Education Institute, where she plays a leading role in the UEI's engagement in creating optimal learning environments that span school, home, and community.

Scoop Jackson, parent

Pinkard is joined by Scoop Jackson, a sports journalist and the father of Jalen, one of the kids profiled in Edutopia's Digital Generation Project.

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a teacher and the information technology director at the Westwood Schools, in Camilla, Georgia. She is co-creator of four global collaborative projects, including the Flat Classroom Project, winner of the International Society for Technology in Education's 2007 SIGTel Online Learning Award. Davis blogs at The Cool Cat Teacher Blog, winner of the 2008 Edublog Award for Best Teacher Blog.

Virginia, student

Davis will be joined by Virginia, a student in her ninth-grade class who is profiled in Edutopia's Digital Generation Project.

Comments (54)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Jenna McWilliams's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Hi, I'm not sure if this went through before: What role do you see assessment playing as you support collaborative projects where it's difficult to identify and measure individual achievement or contribution?

Carol Kinzler's picture
Anonymous (not verified)


1. Are our colleges and universities ready for these students?
2. How do we get the colleges and universities ready for these students?

aisha white's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

for Nicole
did you have to acquire outside funding for your program?

for Vickie
how and where did you acquire your technology education and training?

Mary Ann Stillerman's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

How can we make our school district IT departments our partners in digital solutions to learning? As teachers, we run into so many firewalls, and many great online resources are blocked. I know this frustrates many teachers who keep trying to integrate digital learning in their classrooms. Protocals are in place, but it really is a wall.
- Mary Ann (8th Grade Teacher)

Vicki Davis's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I would also wonder if you are able to harness the power of the cell phone to reach these students outside the classroom.

Mei-Yan Lu's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Please share with us with your insights in preparing teacher leaders, principals to use media in the schools.

charles rathbone's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

many people think 18 and 19 year olds are very skilled with all social technology. it isn't my experience that this is the case. this generation has many holes in what they know. what they can do is text each other and be of the mind set where they are constantly connected. so how do you begin to address the holes with people who think they know a lot...

i'd like to hear the parents address this one...

Andy Rothenberger's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Many parents that I talk to are concerned about teaching students 21st century skills. Although they know these are necessary skills for the future, most young adults lack the ethical background to make good decisions when using these skills outside of the classroom. With weekly headlines of sexting, online predators, and cyber-bullying; many parents feel that schools are giving students skills that can get themselves in serious trouble. I try to compare these current tools to the equivalent media of the past and remind parents that they are the parents: Parents must monitor their children and model the moral behavior expected.

21st century standards published by ISTE and AASL include topics of ethics and global responsibility. Vicki touched on this briefly, and I would like to know how are other schools teaching ethical use of technology? Virginia requires by law that teachers include internet safety at every grade level. Teachers struggle with this and most just do not use online tools for fear of parent backlash. What do the students and teachers involved with the featured schools do to make sure students use technology and multimedia skills appropriately? Inside and outside of school?

Thanks for an informative Webinar.

Terry Moore's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Has anyone noticed or studied how, or if, younger siblings are acclimating to, or attempting to use the digital media that their older siblings are using? I'm interested in whether this associative exposure to digital media might be affecting emergent literacy.
Thanks much,

Bill Danes's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

When you implemented the 1:1 computer did you start with a large group (whole schools)or a pilot program? We are interested in starting the program, but we are looking at a small group to begin with. What advice do you have? I like the additional during schools and after school programs, how did you find the teachers for them?

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