The ‘Digital World’

Written summation: Week 1, The Digital World.

You are living in one, but what is it?

The digital world is not a physical country you can travel to. It exists in the digital technologies we use daily to connect, both with information and with other people, across the globe. It is a deeply interconnected world without borders. The digital world is not one fixed world but many worlds. For example, a person may have different digital worlds for school, home and work (Howell, 2012, p. 11). Selywn (2012) proposes that the digital world is a world ‘re-ordered’ by technology, where information is more universally connected than ever before and the significance of knowledge has increased so that power now lies in the “production and consumption of information and knowledge” (p. 3).

“Our devices and our connectivity matter to us right up there with food and shelter” (Dawesar, 2013).

Click the image below to take the quiz: How hooked on technology are you?

What does this mean for today’s students?

Today’s students are growing up in a very different world to any other generation. A world rich in digital technology. As such their needs and goals are different, as are the skills they will be required attain. Therefore, the framework of education needs to be restructured if it is to meet the changing needs of this generation (Howell, 2012, p. 12). Simply put, if we do not change the way we teach we will be failing our students.

fea_ikid_fasttimesIn his article, ‘The 21st Century Digital Learner’, Prensky (2008) describes this generation of students as “mind-numbingly bored” (para. 16). These students are eager to share their opinions on how they view their schooling, especially the use of technology in the classroom, as can be seen in one students statement that “if it’s the way we want to learn, and the way we can learn, you should let us do it” (Prensky, 2008, para. 13).

“You [adults] think of technology as a tool. We think of it as a foundation – it’s at the basis of everything we do” (Prensky, 2008).


It is clear students are frustrated due to significant differences between what they want and what they get (Prensky, 2008). A survey conducted by Project Tomorrow’s Speak Up research project found only 52% of middle school students think that what they are learning in school today will help them in the future and only 49% of them are interested in what they are learning (Project Tomorrow, 2017).

Educators need to engage their students to achieve the best academic results for them and to prepare them for the new workforce they will be entering.


Classroom frustration. (n.d.). [Image]. Retrieved from

Dawesar, A. (2013, June). Life in the “digital now” [Video file]. Retrieved from

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. Victoria: Oxford University Press.

Prensky, M. (2008). The 21st century digital learner. Retrieved from

Project Tomorrow. (2017). Speak up research project for digital learning, 2016 findings. Retrieved from

Selwyn, N. (2012). Education in a Digital World. Retrieved from


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