Many educators view the
Internet and multimedia technology as factors contributing to a
reduction in the amount of time children are engaged in
traditional learning. I say, "Get over it!" Teaching in the
Information Age requires that educators modify their view and
transform their instructional practices to utilize technology’s
power to improve the learning process for students. Today’s
students need to be guided in developing the ability to make use
of the Internet and multimedia technology to increase critical
literacy skills and essential knowledge.
Marc Prensky refers to today's
students as "Digital
students think and process information fundamentally
differently because different kinds of experiences lead to
different brain structures. In fact,
evidence indicates that our
students’ brains have physically changed. Record numbers of
children are being diagnosed with attention deficient disorder,
but is that a valid diagnosis? Prensky has
identified several characteristics of digital natives that all
educators must understand in order to be successful with today's
are used to receiving information really fast
like to parallel process and multi-task
prefer their graphics before their text rather
than the opposite
prefer random access (like hypertext)
thrive on instant gratification and frequent rewards
prefer games to “serious” work
Prensky poses the following questions:
that Digital Natives can’t pay attention, or that
they choose not to?
Should the Digital Native
students learn the old ways, or should their Digital
Immigrant educators learn the new?
Digital Natives are engaged by the Internet and multimedia
technology. It is in the best interest of today's students that
Digital Immigrant (and Digital Alien!) educators learn to teach
with these tools.
Gamequarium is a valuable tool
for teachers who already get it and for those who are still trying to
get over it.
Need help getting over it or
helping other educators get over it? Consider this
Even today, “practice makes
perfect.” Most student don’t
like to practice. The Internet and games can capture student attention,
engage them in learning, and make practice happen.
The Internet and multimedia technology
deliver challenging visual and spatial tasks which serve to
organize information and develop logical thinking can
graphically illustrate many concepts thereby making abstract
Online educational games challenge fine motor
coordination while developing logical thinking skills and
Interactive games allow
learners to construct new understandings on many different
levels through seeing and hearing.
The Internet and online technology offers tools for thinking
more deeply, pursuing curiosity, and exploring and expanding
intelligence as learners build "mental models" with which they
can visualize connections between ideas on any topic.
Internet technology and online games allows educators to better meet the needs of
students with diverse abilities while at the same time
increasing motivation of all students.
What about teaching students
to read and write? Reading and writing are more important
today than ever before. With email, instant messaging, text
messaging, the ease of web publishing and the like, digital
communication is now standard practice. The Internet can
provide authentic experiences for students to engage in digital
reading and writing. How can the Internet and online games
be used to teach students to read and write? Check out
Readquarium, the section of
Gamequarium devoted to developing literacy skills.
Readquarium is arranged based on
the five crucial components identified by the
National Reading Panel.
As an educator of 25 years
(23 years as a classroom teacher!), mother of four, and
grandmother of one, I understand the many demands that are placed
on teachers, parents, and schools. Teachers, parents, and
schools need as much help as possible in preparing our children to
be the future leaders of the world. My mission is to
organize the Internet for teachers, parents, and students and to
contribute to the change that must take place in the way that our
students are educated. Gamequarium provides an easy to
navigate portal to the world of online learning.
There is no charge for using
Gamequarium, and there never will
Gamequarium is my gift to
children of the world. Enjoy!