To engage today’s digitally literate students, schools need to find ways to integrate students’ technology-rich lives outside of school with what they do in school. Students, who are empowered in so many ways outside their schools today, are frustrated because they have no meaningful voice in their own education and they will soon find this to be unacceptable.
Young people today have grown up in a digital, connected world are used to receiving information really fast. Today’s students approach problems differently than older generations and they find answers by searching for information and communicating online. Many parents are often surprised that their children are able to do their homework while watching television or listening to music at the same time. Learning in today’s digital environment is fundamentally different from the “chalk-and-talk” or “sage-on- the-stage” transmission models of the past.
“Teacher agency” in the digital age means being proactive and developing technology-based learning activities that engage and challenge learners (Kimber & Wyatt-Smith, 2006). Teachers must be familiar with learning theories, know how to use a range of computer applications, and be willing to experiment, step outside their comfort zones and take risks. Young people’s out-of-school experiences with technology can mean that students find the presentation of school curriculum less challenging, less relevant and less engaging. Education is changing for young people as they experience self-directed learning, mostly out of school, about things that interest them.