Marc Prensky has written a number of books about the integration of technology and education. In his latest, Brain Gain: Technology and the Quest for Digital Wisdom, Prensky argues that technology can be used to enhance the human brain and improve the way we process information. In a recent interview, Prensky spoke about what teachers and education leaders can do to get more out of technology.
What are the implications for learning and teaching when we move from perceiving the web as a collection of tools to thinking of it as a series of overlapping spaces? This was the focus of a recent Higher Education Academy event on flexible learning and online residency. The term residencycomes from the Visitors and Residents continuum (V&R) which I proposed as an alternative to Marc Prensky’s digital natives and immigrants idea.
V&R is a simple metaphor for online engagement: some people visit the web while others live out a portion of their lives online and are, in effect, resident in online spaces. Unlike Prensky’s idea, the V&R continuum does not assume there are links between age and technical skill, but instead focuses on motivations to engage. We are currently using the V&R continuum as the underpinning principle in a longitudinal JISC-funded project which, in partnership with OCLC, is exploring what motivates learners, teaching practitioners and researchers to engage with the web. We are particularly interested in learner-owned literacies – approaches to information seeking and collaboration online which individuals evolve outside of an institutional context.