Today’s students are part of the generation sometimes referred to in the media as ‘digital natives’. Exposed to digital technologies from birth, it has been assumed by many educators that these students are ‘native’ users of technology. They automatically have the skills and knowledge required to effectively seek, locate and engage digital texts without requiring explicit instruction. And yet, teachers frequently report that students struggle to locate information when completing academic assessment tasks.
It seems that students’ out-of-school Internet use does not adequately prepare them for school research tasks. These academic tasks require sophisticated online reading comprehension skills quite different to the speedy ‘Googling’ and fast skimming which students use to socialise with Facebook friends, or participate as members of online gaming communities.
The comprehension skills of reading online are more complex than those required for reading offline. So how do we teach the reading comprehension skills required for effective learning in the 21st century?
That’s what we will explore as we share our learnings from the classroom and beyond.