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Saturday, 9 October 2010

Teaching Tech-Savvy Kids

Image: Book cover: Teaching Tech-Savvy KidsAlthough written primarily for an American readership this book represents a breakthrough in making sense of an often mysterious and arcane world of Web2.0 and Digital Media. It should be compulsory reading for all involved in the education of our children throughout the world. Although, frustratingly, the book does not mention ePortfolios, all of the references to digital media can be seen as tools and artefacts which can be so eloquently presented through the medium of the ePortfolio.

The book is of equal benefit to parents, teachers and educational technologists. It brings into sharp contrast the massive potential that young students have today and the often sad failure of educationists to recognise it.

The two strap-lines, 'Bringing Digital Media Into the Classroom, Grades 5-12' and 'Students are plugged in, powered up, and connected. ARE YOU?' says it all.

Based on well-researched materials Jessica Parker writes with the expertise of a classroom teacher (as she was for many years) combined with that of an assistant university professor (as she is now - BA Media Studies, MA and PhD in Education).

Liberally appended to each chapter are impressive lists of references and helpful resources along with a very useful glossary and a comprehensive index. As one reviewer states:

"Until we understand the powerful learning, collaborating and producing that teenagers do with their cell-phones, MP3 players, laptops and the Internet, we won't understand how we can best utilise those technologies in our classrooms. Whether you're a digital native new to the classroom or a veteran teacher struggling to learn your students' Internet lingo, this book is your guide to 21st-century teenagers, literacy and learning. After 17 years of teaching middle-school English, I know that I can't teach literacy today without this book."

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