TENEGEN - Connect the TEachers – to  reach and teach the NET GENeration

“The conception of social learning and web 2.0 follow the thesis that learning and knowledge are social, personal, flexible, dynamic, distributed, ubiquitous, complex and chaotic in nature.” (Chatti, M.A.; Jarke, M.; Frosch-Wilke, D. 2007)

Teaching methods are having to continuously change and adapt to suit the needs, and meet the expectations, of our information society. Whether we willingly accept this, or not, this revolution is happening. There is a new generation of students living amongst us -- those born between 1980-1990 -- and now called the Net Generation.  These students learn and communicate differently from previous generations.  They find information quickly and readily from the Internet, as part of an every day life which is now unthinkable without computers. These 'digital natives' are always connected to information and to one another.   We have tried to meet the learning expectations of this n-Gen by establishing virtual classes (virtual models which mimic traditional classrooms), and we have created a huge amount of digital learning objects (LOMs), but we seem surprised that the n-Gen fail to be impressed by today's virtual classrooms, full of multimedia objects, animations an everything digital.   It seems clear from the many surveys on e-learning and ICT in schools that the n-Gen still need -- and appreciate -- good teachers, every bit as much as earlier generations.  They don’t necessarily want to learn alone -- they need coaching from their teachers to find the knowledge they need.   However there is a problem.  Though teachers are also part of the information society they have a tendency to stay with the comfort of their real classrooms, where they continue with traditionally delivered lectures and with traditional pedagogical tools.  They do not take advantage of connectivity.  The aim, therefore, of “Connect the Teachers” is to establish an environment of 'connectivism' for VET teachers, based on the results of former European projects which showed why it is much more important to 'be connected', than simply to deliver knowledge through a virtual classroom and LMS.  Teachers need to be able to take advantage of this environment in order to be able to begin to meet the expectations of the n-Gen students.  

Gödöllő, 2008. november 11.

Tenegen Team

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