Back to Personal Learning Networks (Social Cells): Part I

It’s early Saturday morning, and I’ve gone through my keynote one more time. It’s almost smooth. I get very nervous delivering a new presentation. Thank goodness for PowerPoint.

On the plane yesterday, I read through Marc Prensky’s Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants again. One section struck me in a way that it hadn’t before. He says that there “…two kinds of content: “Legacy” content (to borrow the computer term for old systems) and “Future” content.” Prensky continues:

“Legacy” content includes reading, writing, arithmetic, logical thinking, understanding the writings and ideas of the past, etc. — all of our “traditional” curriculum. It is still important, but it is from a different era…

“Future” content is to a large extent, not surprisingly, digital and technological. But while it includes software, hardware, robotics, nanotechnology, genomics, etc. it also includes ethics, politics, sociology, languages, and other things that go with them.

I like this distinction as a way of communicating that in a new information-driven, technology-rich world, there is new curriculum that must be included in our notions of the basics. That said, in practice, I believe that we would be better served to integrate Legacy and Future together.

What really rang my bell was when Prensky finishes the paragraph with:

…Someone suggested to me that kids should only be allowed to use computers in school that they have built themselves. It’s a brilliant idea that is very doable from the point of view of the students’ capabilities. But wo could teach it?

This, I want to explore. But I have to get ready now. Stay Tuned for part II.

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.