Teaching and Learning in a 'Digital Nation'
PBS Teachers is hosting a webinar next week to address the challenges of teaching and learning in an age of constant digital innovation and nonstop communication, and how kids' fascination and facility with technology influences their learning. The event, scheduled for Dec. 8, from 8-9 p.m. Eastern time, is part of the Frontline/PBS project "Digital Nation: Life on the Digital Frontier".
The ambitious project is taking a year-long look at how the Internet, and the widespread use of tech tools among children and young adults, is changing education, social interaction, and privacy. It will culminate in a Frontline documentary set to air next year on Feb. 2, and includes a range of Web features, such as ongoing video reports and online chats, a blog, and story entries from the public. The Web site features a 'Learning' link as well, with video interviews with education experts and analysts on Education 2.0 issues. There are interviews with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, educational gaming guru James Paul Gee, author Todd Oppenheimer, and others.
Rachel Dretzin, the producer and director, will participate in Tuesday's webinar. Dretzin is a long-time Frontline producer whose previous work includes the 2008 film "Growing up Online."
I attended the kickoff of the project back in March at the Newseum in Washington, where Dretzin and Frontline correspondent Douglas Rushkoff said they hoped to provoke and lead a substantive conversation about what the growing use of, and reliance on, technology means for our children and our society.