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From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom: Hopeful Essays for 21st Century Learning

From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom: Hopeful Essays for 21st Century Learning

by Marc R. Prensky

An expert perspective on 21st century education

What can you learn on a cell phone? Almost anything! How does that concept fit with our traditional system of education? It doesn’t. Best-selling author and futurist Marc Prensky’s book of essays challenges educators to “reboot” and make the changes


An expert perspective on 21st century education

What can you learn on a cell phone? Almost anything! How does that concept fit with our traditional system of education? It doesn’t. Best-selling author and futurist Marc Prensky’s book of essays challenges educators to “reboot” and make the changes necessary to prepare students for 21st century careers and living. His “bottom-up” vision includes students’ ideas about what they need from teachers, schools, and education. Also featured are easy-to-do, high-impact classroom strategies that help students acquire “digital wisdom.” This thought-provoking text is organized into two sections that address:

  • Rethinking education (including what and how we teach and measuring learning)
  • 21st century learning and technology in the classroom (including games, YouTube, and more)

Editorial Reviews

Teacher Emily
"My 6 year old son really opened my eyes to the truth in your writings. My son is very bright, but he claims he hates school and he fights me at home when I try to get him to read or practice his writing. But he LOVES games! Some days he would come home from school and ask to go online and have me find a website for him that they used at school. These games got him to practice the skills I wanted him to but in a way that engaged him."
Michael Horn
“Bringing together several of his always-provocative essays to describe his vision for the future of education, Marc Prensky offers several insights that are sure to spark a conversation and force you to question your convictions about education. Perhaps the most important one is that we should listen to the students themselves and use their insights to inform us in how we can help them succeed.”
Eric Mazur
"In a set of thought-provoking essays, Marc Prensky shows that the digital age is poised to disrupt learning. He provides a glimpse of a digital future few might imagine."
Lawrence Lipsitz
“Marc Prensky's phrase "digital natives" has entered the international lexicon, and he continues to offer insightful and even startling commentary as we move ever deeper into the heart of an exciting new cultural era."
David Engle
"In this fine collection of essays, Marc Prensky does what few education thinkers today seem willing or able to do: engage in breakthrough thinking about teaching and learning while also honoring teachers, students, and their futures!"
Chris Lehmann

"Marc Prensky has been a thought leader for this generation of forward-thinking educators. This collection of essays will push you, inspire you and challenge your beliefs about what students can do. "

Midwest Book Review
"The author's first-person experiences as an educator directing these young 'digital natives' with the wisdom of an experienced educator makes this rich with examples pulled from classroom interactions."
Library Media Reivew
"This collection of essays is a must read for all 21st century educators."
VOYA - Dianna Geers
Prensky coined the phrase "digital natives" in 2001, and today it is commonly used when discussing young adults who have grown up in a digital world with instant access to information. From Digital Natives To Digital Wisdom is a compilation of previously published articles and essays written by Prensky, who is a speaker and writer with a focus on technology and education. The first part of the book contains philosophical ideas about improvement for schools in the twenty-first-century, while the second half, according to Prensky, examines specific issues, ideas, and solutions. Although concepts covered in these articles—some published over ten years ago—may have been groundbreaking at the time, this compilation does not offer anything new or thought provoking for those already familiar with the digital transformation of our world. In addition, ideas and statements are not backed by evidence. The author writes, "But of our 2.2 million teachers, I would be shocked to learn that even 1 percent use simulations in class. I'd be surprised if it were even one-tenth of that. It's probably more like one one-hundredth." Such sweeping opinions rather than hard data lower the credibility of the author and are frequent in this collection. Although this book might be beneficial to get discussions started with those unaware of the digital needs of today's learners, there are newer, more specific, and credible sources available. Reviewer: Dianna Geers

Product Details

SAGE Publications
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Barnes & Noble
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1 MB

Meet the Author

Marc Prensky is an internationally acclaimed speaker, writer, consultant, futurist, visionary, and inventor in the critical areas of education and learning. He is the author of several critically acclaimed books and over 60 articles on education and learning, including multiple articles in Educational Leadership, Educause, Edutopia, and Educational Technology.

Marc’s presentations around the world challenge and inspire audiences by opening up their minds to new ideas and approaches to education. One of his critically important perspectives is to look at education through the eyes of the students—during his talks, he interviews hundreds of students every year.

Marc’s professional focus has been on reinventing the learning process, combining the motivation of student passion, technology, games, and other highly engaging activities with the driest content of formal education. He is the founder of two companies: Games2train, an e-learning company whose clients include IBM, Bank of America, Microsoft, Pfizer, the U.S. Department of Defense, and Florida’s and Los Angeles’s Virtual Schools; and Spree Learning, an online educational games company.

Marc is one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between games and learning, and was called by Strategy+Business magazine “that rare visionary who implements.” He has designed and built over 50 software games in his career, including worldwide,multiuser games and simulations that run on all platforms, from the Internet to cell phones. MoneyU (www.moneyu.com), his latest project, is an innovative, engaging, and effective game for teaching financial literacy to high school and college students. Marc is also the creator of www.spreelearninggames.com and www.socialimpactgames.com.His products and ideas are innovative, provocative, and challenging, and they clearly show the way of the future.

The NewYork Times,The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek,TIME, Fortune, and The Economist have all recognized Marc’s work. He has appeared on FOX News, MSNBC, CNBC, PBS’s Computer Currents, the Canadian and Australian Broadcasting Corporations, and the BBC. Marc also writes a column for Educational Technology. He was named as one of training’s top “New Breed of Visionaries” by Training magazine and was cited as a “guiding star of the new parenting movement” by Parental Intelligence Newsletter.

Marc’s background includes master’s degrees from Yale, Middlebury, and Harvard Business School (with distinction). He has taught at all levels, from elementary to college. He is a concert musician and has acted on Broadway. He spent six years as a corporate strategist and product development director with the Boston Consulting Group and worked in human resources and technology on Wall Street.


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