How the Digital Generation will Change Teaching

How does teaching and learning change in a world where information is at our fingertips?

Howard Gardner, Developmental Psychologist, spoke in an Edutopia video on “The Digital Generation Project.” Gardner was born in 1943 and has spent most of his time researching multiple intelligences and education. Therefore, he comes as an esteemed and credible source in the Education sector. Below are four reasons why technology and learning will change as information becomes more readily available:

  1. Abundance of information
  2. Ease of access
  3. Global network and communication
  4. As new premises come, new challenges arise

Abundance of Information

Ease of Access

How many times have you, or someone you know, pulled out your phone at the dinner table to Google something? Howard Gardner said “whenever something makes my life easier I go right to it.” We are all guilty of this and we are seeing this in the classroom, as well. Not only is there a large amount of information out there, it is all around (most of) us. We are connected to social media, we Google things, and we communicate with the world–all from our 5 inch smartphone screens.

Global Network and Communication

It seems obvious to state, but nowadays people all around the world have internet. It is fascinating how far away we are yet how connected we remain. We are able to share information, blog, and see what’s going on in other countries. We haven’t gotten to the point yet where all areas have internet, but there are some countries out there who are making a lot of headway. Google has launched Project Loon, which carries internet access to remote areas via hot air balloons. Truly amazing! What are we going to come up with next?!

As New Premises Come, New Challenges Arise

As of 2016, Google served more than 2 Trillion searches. From its inception, that number rose from 1 billion searches in 1999 and has climbed every year (Search Engine Land, 2016). As these searches increase, we need to be weary of the information. Is it credible? Relevant? Recent? Can it be used in a research paper? These are all questions that we need to teach our students! They need to be able to evaluate their sources and decide for themselves if the new technology is helping or hurting. It could allow for a healthy debate in the classroom.

Insights from Howard Gardner

On the topic of new premises and new challenges arising, Howard Gardner had the following insights:

  • We need to understand the forms
  • Don’t let the new sources dictate what is right
  • Good education will be more difficult
  • Since information is becoming so prevalent, teachers will become more like coaches or models

Thoughts? Join in on the conversation by leaving a comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts on Digital Thinkers.

E. (2010, August 03). Retrieved July 27, 2017, from

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