Arizona or Bust part 2!

A few days ago I wrote about my trip to Arizona (Arizona or Bust part 1).  I quickly (okay, okay, it wasn’t so quickly) noticed that I had written a small dissertation on the first 3 speakers at the conference.  I really, really loved all 3 of them!  The good/bad news is there were 4 or 5 more presentations I wanted to talk about!  Sooo…  this is Arizona or Bust part 2!  There may or may not be a part 3… it really depends on how long winded I get telling you about all the amazing research I learned about!  I also decided that I should throw in some more pictures… mainly because I took over 150 of them on my trip (no…really!)  So, sit back, enjoy the beautiful scenery that is Arizona, and be prepared to have some amazing research thrown at you in fast paraphrased chunks!
This was the first view of Arizona I had!  I walked out of the Phoenix airport and this was my first view…. amazing blue skies and palm trees!  Photo op #1!!

Ready?  Okay let’s do this! So the next presentation I saw was a breakout by Ian Jukes… yep, he was the amazing speaker I talked about in part 1!  We loved him so much that we stuck around to hear him speak for 90 minutes more!  And boy, we were NOT disappointed!

What’s better than amazing 15 feet tall cacti? Cacti wrapped in Christmas lights!  YES!  

Mr. Jukes’ breakout presentation was entitled “Understanding the Digital Generation.”  In this presentation we were hit over the head with some amazing (and overwhelming) facts about the students we work with today.  (I also found it interesting that I have a lot of the characteristics that were spoken about… mainly due to my husband and I being slight obsessed with technology… we won’t go there though *grin*)

According to Mr. Jukes, today’s generation is completely different than ours (I say “ours” in a collective educational sense – many of you reading this will find that some of these characteristics speak to you as well b/c you were born as a part of the “millennial generation” Born in the 1980’s and 1990’s) even though we look very similar on the outside.  Kids today are dealing with a concept called “digital bombardment” which is the continual wiring and rewiring of the brain based on all the new technology that is put in front of them.  While they may look very similar, and act (… don’t go there…) very similar, neurologically they are processing information in a fundamentally different way than us.  Teens today live in a 3-screen world – computer/telephone/television.  80 hours of their week is being used in front of multiple screens – wait… let’s break that down a minute –  80 hours a week – that’s 3 1/3 days out of 7, students are in front of MULTIPLE screens at the same time.  This is NOT including when they are only on the phone, or only on the computer.  This is a combination of 2 or more screens at once.  Most kids are in school 35 hours a week… do the math…. 80 hours a week multiscreen + 35 hours a week in school + 56 (assuming 8 hours of sleep a night) = 171 hours (btw a week has 168 hours in it…)

Anywho, these kids are used to being connected and mentally stimulated in a way that we never were growing up.  Kids are arriving in kindergarten with a need for instant gratification.  This is not a passing fad… digital culture is the NEW NORMAL.  We must embrace it and we must teach kids how to use technology in the proper ways.  Mr. Jukes then talked about a survey that was taken.  In it 1 in 3 North American students said that the internet was important to them as air, shelter, food and water.  60% of students in Brazil and China agreed.   These same students feel as though they are running into a wall with the lack of technology at school.  Smartboards aren’t enough… these kids need interaction – phones, QRcodes, responders, tablets…etc.  As teachers we need to be willing to acknowledge, accept and embrace the digital world in some if not all of our lessons.  This digital world is their life.  We should be teaching studetns how to properly use techonolgy.  Mr. Jukes said, “school is the only place you cannot pull out a device to answer a question”, he further went on to say we are “absolutely crazy to not use these devices in our classroom!”

According to Mr. Jukes, students need to learn how to focus for a specific amount of time AND be able to multi-task when appropriate.  Through multi-tasking, studies show that students are more adept at finding a deeper learning.  Our students also need more visuals and lest text!  Students were show a screen with over 200 pictures (no words) and given a quiz.  72 hours later students could still retain 90% of the visuals shown.  A year later, they were still retaining 63%!  The role of words, in education, should be to complement the images.  AND Mr. Jukes supported that idea using less than 100 words on his powerpoint that lasted for over 90 minutes (and yet, I still retained a ridiculous amount of his message!)

So what does reading in an F pattern mean for teachers… you need to get all the important information in these areas AND you also need to have something very eye catching to pull the student’s eye to the downward right area.

SHOCKING FACT:  Today’s generation of students will have 10-17 careers (CAREERS PEOPLE, NOT JUST JOBS!!!) by the time they are 35.  Wait what?!  Yes, statistically speaking kiddos today will have at least 10 careers in the next 20 years of their lives… that’s an average of a new career every two years! They will need to replace their entire knowledge base  multiple times.   Another shocker (according to Mr. Jukes and his research)…Student’s don’t need a 4 year degree anymore.  Students do, however, need to prepare themselves for 40 years or learning, unlearning, and relearning to stay up-to-date with the current technology and needs of their new career.  Mr. Jukes feels as if degrees are going to be replaced with credentials.

 So, how do we prepare students for jobs that don’t yet exist? We need to teach in a more just-in-time manner! And what is this just-in-time teaching Mr. Jukes speaks of?  Just-in-time teaching is “learning in the moment for a specific purpose” – you know, teaching students to think on their feet, all them to learn and adapt quickly… more performance based learning!  This generation begs to be in control at least part of the time. Mr. Jukes says, “for education to survive, education needs to be just as fun as a video game.”  For this generation  “play is work.”  Why you ask?  The most primitive piece of technology our students know today is an iPad.  An iPad!  I remember not having a computer in my house growing up!  Children today are learning how to type BEFORE they learn how to write, toddlers are learning how to swipe on their tablets.

Yes, this is an orange.  They have a ton of citrus trees around Arizona.  We *might* have had to shake a tree down so that we could try a fresh orange.  It was definitely the best orange ever…. so juicy, so much flavor!

YIKES… I did it again, another super long post!  And in this one I only covered one speaker!  EEP!  I guess that means there will be at least a 3rd installment of Arizona or Bust! I do hope you all are enjoying hearing what I got out of my conference and that I am not boring you with all the details!

With that, I leave you, not only with a picture of an AWESOME cactus… but also with a fun tease of sorts! Check it out!

Coming SOON!  MMD helps students construct (insert secret topic here)! I can’t wait for this one !  It’s going to be super fun and usable in different capacities over multiple grade levels!
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