Cracking the “Native” Information Experience

I’m not sure why this photo came up when I search Flickr for Hacker. But it serves the purpose, appearing to be elements of a location, hacked together, probably using Photosynth. (( Valino, Tzu Kwan. “Hall.” Smallcaps’ Photostream (Flickr). 11 Jan 2006. Web. 7 Oct 2009. <>. ))

I see that a few people are blog-posting their sesson proposals for ISTE 2010.  So here is the opening description for the session I am proposing.  I’ll also be delivering this presentation as a luncheon keynote next week for the TEC SIG Fall Meeting in Austin — got to hurry up and finish it. 

Cracking the “Native” Information Experience

The ringing proclamation at ISTE 2010 will be “Integrate Technology.”  There is a lot of value in this mantra, but it is the response of a generation of teachers who grew up without computers, mobile phones, and the Internet.  It all looks like technology to us.

To our students, it is merely the road ways of their daily and minute-by-minute travels and the tentacles of their nearly constant hyper-connectively.  It is the hands and feet that take them where they want to go.  Believing that our youngsters carry their mobile phones around with them because it is their technology of choice is a poor reason to desperately carve out ways of using mobile tech in our lessons.  They carry their phones because that is where their friends are — and their is nothing new about youngsters wanting to be where their friends are.

What is new is the nature of their interactions and the culture that they have grown out of their hyper-connectivity.  Cracking the Native Information Experience will seek to reach beyond the technology, identifying and exploring the unique qualities of our students’ outside the classroom activities.  What is the code that makes their video games, social networks, and texting so ingrained in their lives, and how might we crack that code.

The code itself comes from work that I did with a group of teachers in Irving, Texas, a school district that has operated, since 1997, based on students having ubiquitous access (1:1) to networked, digital, and abundant information.  In an online collaborative activity we identified and then factored down the elements of their students information activities that seemed to result in active learning, as opposed to the passive learning their predecessors had endured.

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Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.