Saturday, April 6, 2013

21st century student systems

21st century student systems

Are the Information Communication Technology (ICT) systems, software applications and school centred processes of your school purposed to support the instructional needs of the 21st century student?

In the essay ‘Do They Really Think Differently?’ (2001) Prensky defines Digital Immigrant and the Digital Native. Prensky proposes that one’s thinking patterns change depending on one’s experiences to the level that the Digital Native has a very different blend of cognitive skills than its predecessor the Digital Immigrant. Other commonly employed terms that describe pre and post 2000 students and learning frameworks are the Millennial Student, the Net Generation and 21st Century Student. All classifications support Prensky supposition that the Digital Native student is required to and have acquired different thinking processes.

Since the late 1980’s schools have adapted and integrated technologies to support instruction. Schools have connected to the internet to access content and employed an industrial office suite to produce assessment based materials. The 1980’s and 1990’s technologies effectively supported lower order thinking skills: Remembering Understanding and Applying.

Since 2000 the internet has moved from push, to share to connecting live data. The Office Suite is no longer central to the production of assessment based materials. Post 2000 technologies support higher order thinking skills: Analysis, Evaluation and Creation.

Pre and post 2000 born students and technologies

1980 - 2000
  • Millennial Student / Digital Immigrant
  • Web 1.0 Push / Stand Alone Office Suite / Connect to school network
  • Remembering / Understanding  / Applying
2000 - 2013
  • 21st Century Student / The Net Generation / Digital Native
  • Web 2.0 Share / Web 3.0 Live data / Cloud Technologies / Open Content / Connected by personal networks
  • Analysis / Evaluation / Creativity

The Millennial Student (Digital Immigrant)

The millennial students were born between 1983 and 2000 (Australian Bureau of Statistics). These students have either entered the workforce, are completing a post-secondary course, completing senior school and or are selecting pathway options into the workforce. The last of this generation is in year 8/9. The millennial students are moving into a transitioning knowledge-based workplace and into university courses that are increasingly accessed online. Whilst unskilled jobs diminish and higher levels of skills are demanded by employers on the job training is declining. Australian employers buy rather than train workers (Manpower Services Australia).  Millennial students entering the workforce need to possess the personal self-advocacy skills to self-train as and when required.

Millennial Generation (Technologies)

The millennial students on the large grew up with stand-alone technologies, office focussed software and the limited capacities of a push based web 1.0. Student generated content was largely type and then print.

Breaking Ground Technologies pre 2000
  • 1982 Commodore 64 
  • 1984 Apple Macintosh 
  • 1986 Pixar creates 3D animation
  • 1988 First computer virus
  • 1989 First simulator game 
      • Nintendo Game boy 
  • 1990 WEB 1.0 (push) is born
      • Windows 3.0 
  • 1993 First Person Shooter games (DOOM)
  • 1993 First Graphical Internet Browser (Mosaic)
  • 1994 Yahoo 
      • World of Warcraft
  • 1995 MS Office 95
  • 1996 The launch of Hotmail
  • 1998 Windows 98 
  • 1998 Google launched


21st Century Student (The Net Generation / Digital Native)

The 21st Century Net Generation student has never known life without the Internet. The first of the Net generation is 13 years old and are presently in year 7/8. In 2013 these students total approximately 66 to 69% of the student body and in 2017 will be 100% of the student body. These students have accessed IT at very young ages through playing with toys containing microchips, digital gaming, accounts to web services, personal computers, and mobile technologies. They have grown up in society where technology is becoming transparent to the actual activity. Their connected expectation is 24/7. They have grown up on the Net, with Facebook and Google and research via YouTube.

Breaking Ground Technologies post 2000
  • 2000 Playstation 2 
      • WEB 2.0 (share) 
  • 2001        Sharepoint 
  • 2002 Blogger by Google, 
      • Moodle
      • xBox 
      • Amazon Cloud Services
  • 2003 Wordpress 
  • 2003 Apple  iTunes store
  • 2004 Facebook 
      • Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age
  • 2005 WEB 3.0 (live data), 
      • YouTube 
      • Google Earth 
  • 2006 Khan Academy
      • Google Apps For Education 
      • Wii console 
  • 2007 Apple iPhone
      • iTunes U opens
      • Dropbox 
      • Google Maps
  • 2008 Android smartphone
      • Flickr
  • 2009 Minecraft 
      • Microsoft Kinect
  • 2010 Apple iPad 
      • Instagram 
  • 2012 Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
      • Coursera, Udacity, and edX (free university courses)
      • Computer Generated Books (automatic authoring, marketing, and distributing)

The F-10 Australian Curriculum


The Melbourne Declaration, the Digital Education Revolution, Closing the Gap and the Australian Curriculum Online is designed to support students born post 2000. The Australian Curriculum explicitly supports 21st century learning. 


Today’s students need the knowledge, skills and confidence to make ICT work for them at school, at home, at work and in their communities. The 21st Century Curriculum implores students to demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, creativity, and innovation. 

This requirement is beyond the scope of an office suite or a standardise and limited suite of designated software applications.

 A 21st Century Teaching and Learning vision is required to ensure that students are supported to meet the expectations of the Australian Curriculum, develop lifelong learning skills to embrace changing work placed skills, and have the capacity to achieve at any-time, anywhere and from any device.  This vision needs to be persuasively communicated to parents and community to ensure clarity of purpose.