When I saw this hyperlink at the bottom of another webpage I thought it was a joke but had to check it out to make sure.
Here is a young child (about 1 year old) interacting with an iPad and then with a magazine. Even at a young age, this child already knows how to interact with a tablet. She can make the dashboard move from one page to another. When given a magazine she tries to manipulate the objects on the page just like she does with the iPad.
Now, let’s fast-forward 4 years to when she enters kindergarten (keep in mind the rest of the world is now playing with the iPad 5 or something even cooler we haven’t even dreamed about). She is at the bus stop and while waiting is playing an alphabet game on her iPad. When she gets to the letter “h” and picture of a horse jumping, she wants to know how a horse can jump so high. WIth her parent’s help, they do a quick YouTube search for horses jumping. They watch a video of how a horse’s muscle work to make it jump. The little girl gets so excited and has to share what she learned with someone else in the family. She checks Skype and see that grandma is available. She and grandma video chatting until she hears the bus. The bus arrives and she has to quickly gives the iPad back to her mother. She enters school and does not have another opportunity to use this kind of technology (or the self directed learning she was doing at the bus stop) until she returns home.
What can teachers and schools do to prepare for this kind of learn? Here’s the other bit–we already have learns like the one above. How can teachers and schools continue to develop this sense of self-learning?