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

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

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

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

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

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.

This article originally published on 5/13/2009

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Comments (55)

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jody dixon (not verified)

technology integration+state testing

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i teach us history to juniors in a high school in nc. i use technology as much as possible but i find that i am constantly fighting the battle between time on content vs. time integrating tech. how do we successfully walk the line? i would love for my students to spend more time making digital movies, creating podcasts, playing ed. games, etc... but i have all this content that i have to dig into. the students end the year with a state test that they have to pass or they repeat the course. i see all these great things and i know where we are supposed to be going but i feel as if there is a disconnect at the state level. i don't have ten hours for my students to make movies about a small piece of my curriculum. what do we do? how do we make it happen when we are held accountable for how students perform on a hundred question multiple choice test at the end of the year?

Patricia Chrosniak (not verified)

Preparing new secondary education teachers

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I teach a curriculum course to college freshmen and sophomores preparing to teach in one of several fields [i.e., English, math, history, physics, chemistry, family/consumer sciences]. This course is focused upon project-based learning and includes the study of curricular design using UbD as the foundation. We try to integrate appropriate technology and I am impressed by the creativity of the majority of my students. We use Edutopia to study what is most current in the schools. Our final project is the creation of a dream high school by groups of 4-5 students of distinct fields. I've found the videos of Eeva Reeder's students and their architectural projects to be a great source for ours. We're also partial to the "Incredible Journey" and several of the videos in the GLEF sets that we purchased. I begin the course with the Jordan School District YouTube video, "Pay Attention."
My students are, of course, extremely savvy about technology. What direction do you recommend we take this coming fall? What should we not miss? pat

Tracey Sittig (not verified)

NCLB versus technology

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So many questions!
1) How do we effectively integrate even low-end technology in a time-constructive way when we (at least at the elementary levels) face so many restrictions on minutes, content, etc. For instance, I have four computers in my room, and it would be great to have them word process some work (poetry, essays, etc.). Unfortunately, most of the kids are "hunt and peck" keyboarders, and there's just not time to let 35 of them find their way through a final piece.
2) I know that some of our newer teachers are coming out of school with lots of experience and sometimes classes in using tech: video and audio production, graphics, etc. Lots of us not only don't have that background, but we don't even have the time to go acquire it (sandwiched between parent and child care, extra duties at school, yada-yada). What are some quick and easy ways and/or software programs to juice up our curriculum with tech?
3) Our district is on its third wave of technology:
1) Macs in, 2) Macs out, PCs in + donations from Oracle (that never got used effectively because our children don't know how to keyboard and the Oracle equipment didn't come with software to accomplish that), 3) Old PCs out, new PCs in. On the one hand, "they" (who order the equipment) never come talk to teachers about our students' needs; and on the other hand, "they" never have enough training or support staff to help with problems. Except for a few pockets of rabid (and cool) tech use, I think our district ends up spending money for equipment that largely sits around (also, in part, because of NCLB demands -- we're just not climbing that API/AYP ladder fast enough!). What districts are doing a really good job of working with teachers to make technology spending a true investment in our students and their learning?
Thank you!

Kristy Ward (not verified)

Small step success

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If you were to advise a k-5 computer teacher to "start somewhere", where would you advise them to start as far as integration of a concept of tool into their computer teaching. There is so much out there...what is a basic start that given that fundamental tool or knowledge, could set an elementary student on a path of personal learning?

Sheree Wells (not verified)

#1. Do you think that

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Do you think that progress is being made to create safe learning environments that integrate technology? For instance, are children becoming more safe-savey and aware of the dangers involved in using publicly accessed tools.

Do you think that progress is being made in bridging the gap between teacher skills and knowledge in being able to integrate tech-tools into the classroom?

(in Canada and U.S.)

Feel free to edit my questions if they are too lengthy.

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