On Sunday, I posted the photo of my grandmother Maria - schoolmistress at the beginning of past century - with her little-schoolchildren in their white smocks.
A good introduction for this week subject! ☺
Have you read Renata Phelps' article? Citing Lee she says: "the two learning systems and cultures, that of school and of the Web, are fundamentally different; one has a basis in control and structure, and the other is seemingly unstructured and chaotic." The photo I have published perfectly visualises the idea of control and structure, order and directive-style typical of the traditional school. (Any element of chaos, in some way present in any classroom - also at the time of my grandmother, I suppose - has been eliminated at the moment of the photo, that means "at the moment of the formal representation").
In my thirty-year experience as a teacher - without having read Doll, Bjork, Honebein, … - I have, step by step, shifted from a directive-style, focused "on objectives and learning outcomes," to the promotion of processes: use of the laboratory, projects activities, working experiences out of the school, also out of Italy. I strongly agree with the statements: "Rather than simplifying the environment, the goal of educators should be to aid the learner to function in rich learning environments" and "education should be process-oriented and students must be actively engaged".
In the lab, teaching Electronics, I asked my students to design, realise and test simple, or more complex, circuits; teaching Automation, to write programs for a PLC in order to control motors or other devices. In the last course year, generally, I proposed to my students to choose a project and work on it for many months.
It's a way to capture students interest, to promote their creativity, to develop their problem solving capability, to learn through "errors, mistakes and difficulties" (see Bjork quoted by Phelps).
I have also spent a lot of my time organising working experiences, exchanges with foreign students and working experiences abroad. Wonderful learning experiences - in the real, complex, environment - for my students!
Thus: it's not only a question of digital environment and of digital natives. I did such experiences 20 years ago, and I found them useful for my (not-yet native) students learning.
Obviously, with digital native students it's much more crucial to leave the old - linear and teacher centered - school.