The social media natives have arrived

The students that spent all their teen years using Facebook have just graduated this year so the first true “social media natives” have arrived at our higher education faculties and they are very different from previous generations. 

socail media natives

Photo source: The Atlantic

Motivation is the key in keeping the learning process alive.

The key skills I learned myself as a teacher in keeping a student motivated in the classroom were giving them a good structure, a process view of what was expected from them with goals at the end. Even today this is still an important basis and also as Turner & Paris (1995) present in their six Cs we need to think of other ways to keep them motivated.

The 6 c’s by Turner & Paris (1995)

  • Choice – Students being able to choose assignments based on their own interest
  • Challenge – Setting the right challenging targets, not too easy and not too hard
  • Control – Handing over control to the students own learning
  • Collaboration – Learning from others peer to peer as well as peer to teacher
  • Constructing meaning – so the students regard knowledge as valuable
  • Consequences – positive effects from positive feedback

“If a student can’t learn the way we teach then maybe we should teach the way they learn” (Ignacio Estrada) I believe that teachers have the duty of preparing young minds to learn and grow into successful adults. Not all students learn the same way and we have to meet the needs of each student. Finding different ways for them to learn to meet all these needs could include

  • Working in Groups in the classroom – makes them interact with each other, think independently as well as working as a team.
  • Presentation skills – Enables them to work with their oral skills first in smaller groups and then in front of bigger classes, giving them confidence in themselves and also receiving feedback from their peers.

Activities that we should have in the classroom should include:

  • Interaction
  • Discussion
  • Reflection
  • Games
  • Peer review
  • Project form

Students arrive in our classes with prior knowledge, beliefs and attitudes from their lives so far. They will automatically connect their ideals to the learning. Wenger (1998) highlights the significance of students’ active commitment when reflecting on learning, identity and development. (Academic teaching). This idea is taken one step further where the student acts as co-creators of higher education. It is being developed today at our department (Teaching and learning in Higher Education) and already in Uppsala University they call it “Active Student Participation”.

Reference articles:

2 thoughts on “The social media natives have arrived

  1. Pingback: Digital Literacy and the digital me | Maddy Tucker Smith

  2. Pingback: Open Networked Learning | Maddy Tucker Smith

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