NEW!!

Marc Prensky assimilates teaching, learning, and technology into a brilliant how-to for 21st-century teachers and students.

Marc’s Tweets

Marc uses Twitter not to share what he is doing “in the moment”, but rather to share and spread important ideas — using Twitter’s short, pithy format. Marc beleives that in our era there is an important need to achieve depth in communication quickly, and to cut out excess length, much of which, often, is unessential “noise.”

What follows are Marc’s tweets over the past several months from @marcprensky. Reading them will give you a good and fairly rapid idea of Marc’s thinking on a variety of subjects. (On Twitter, of course, you can also follow the re-tweets and reactions) Should you desire more detail, please read Marc’s essays, books and interviews.


The first question to ask any student if you don’t already know the answer: “What are you passionate about?”

Educators who don’t adapt to the new context are “past-ucators.” They’re now of less and less help to our kids.

The best instructions to give any students using technology are “Surprise me—blow my socks off with what you can do.”

Forcing kids to use only the tools of the past is punishment. See: http://bit.ly/Z56QCt

Let’s stop blaming teachers, parents, politicians or students for our educational fix. Let’s blame the new context & adapt!

Today’s accelerating change is not just faster change—it’s faster & faster & faster change. We must all learn to deal with this.

Wearable computing has begun (e.g. Google glasses). Implanted is next—all within the careers of many current educators. Get ready!

It’s not that we did education wrong in the past—it’s that our past education no longer works in today’s context. Time to adapt!

Our kids are in transition to a new, more relevant skill set. Educators should be helping them, not forcing them back to the past.

In a fast moving field like technology there are NO “best practices.” Only “good practices” & the need to continually invent better ones.

Because the world has changed so much, our schools need to educate not only the kids, but also, through the kids, their parents.

Educators who haven’t yet learned to powerfully incorporate technology are now only “half educators”. Let’s make them whole again.

Don’t just use technology to do old things in new ways—use technology to do new things!

Let’s create a small video studio in a corner of every classroom, & a better one in every school library. Our kids need them!

Let’s help all our kids & teachers find Digital Wisdom—& avoid digital stupidity!

We MUST experiment with our kids: it’s the ONLY way to find what works in our new context. We need to help parents understand this.

We CAN’T engage all of our kids. But we CAN engage WITH all of our kids. And we must.

If every teacher asked every kid “What are you passionate about?” & recorded & used the answers, our education would improve overnight.

Let’s put thinking, acting, relating & accomplishing first, & subjects second—Skills trump content.

The true network goal is “AORTA” = Always-On Real-Time Access. (Term coined by futurist Mark Anderson.) Let’s get there.

Let’s empower all teachers and students to do what THEY KNOW IS RIGHT to make positive changes in their schools.

A great 21st c. perspective from a scientist to kids: “Everything I’m about to tell you is wrong.” I.e. it’s our best ‘till we learn more.

Let’s have students compose a tweet for every book they read & module they complete, & compare them for depth of understanding.

One of our key goals should be to ensure that every student—and every teacher—is a full node on the network.

Communication & mathematical thinking are fundamentals. Handwriting & math-on-paper are best methods of their times. Times are changing.

Personal video makes effective oral communication as important as effective writing—let’s emphasize it equally in our teaching.

Every student should learn to work in virtual communities, to make effective videos, & to program & create apps—in every subject.

Twitter can be a great educational tool for fostering precision and conciseness in communication—skills today’s kids all need.

People who only see today’s students as “less capable” are missing that this generation is transitioning to a new & more useful skill set.

Today’s educators’ job is to show students how to teach themselves in today’s and tomorrow’s world, & to guide them in doing so.

Dividing our school day into math, English, social studies, science & arts is outdated in the 21st c. It’s time to seriously rethink this.

Few today get the best education the world can offer, because most of today’s education is for a context that no longer exists.

Educators who raise scores via a pedagogy that’s all top-down (& totally from the past) are not giving today’s kids everything they need.

Far too much of our curriculum is useless to most kids. The useful skills for all are thinking, acting, relating & accomplishing.

The new context of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity + accelerating change is here to stay—we must all accept it & adapt.

Unless school technology enables students to do more, solve more difficult problems & make better decisions, it’s of little use.

Education used to be about preparing for the future by understanding the past. Now things change too fast for that approach alone to work.

As technology does more for us, the old “basics” evolve. Today knowing how to think, act, relate & get things done effectively are the keys.

The “verbs” of education—like “communicating”—don’t change. But the “nouns” to learn & master the verbs now evolve frequently.

Not all Digital Natives know how to use technology well. But almost all see digital technology as a fundamental part of their 21st c. life.

Anyone else remember when automatic transmissions were viewed as “making driving too easy”? Parallels to education?

“When I was your age we had no computers or smart phones!” brags a Grandpa. “So how did you get on the Internet?” asks the kid.

When outdated attitudes toward tech from the non-digital past (i.e. “it’s cheating”) get communicated to kids, it harms their education.

Brain changes due to technology are not yet fully understood. Brain extensions by technology are clear & huge.

Old: assign a number of pages. New: assign a number of characters. Focus, precision & conciseness are what kids need today.

Our brains are incapable of doing many tasks needed today, like analyzing trillions of data points. Technology extends our brains for them.

We all become Digitally Wiser by learning to combine most effectively what our brains do well with what technology does better.

As accelerating tech options quickly expand (e.g. email to text to twitter to video), a key requirement for all educators is flexibility!

“If I lose my cell phone, I lose half my brain,” says a kid. Technology extends students’ minds—let’s use it educationally, not ban it.

Technology is today as foundational as reading. Just as all education employs reading, all education should employ technology.

Wolfram Alpha is a tool that all students—even the youngest— should be using daily to ask and answer hard questions.

Education must address the full 21st century brains of our kids—including the brain’s new extensions by technology.

Every school needs at least one 3D printer. All kids should learn to use this important tool to make something.

“My phone is my third hand” says a student. Having an extra limb is useful!

We need to find or make computer simulations that help our kids learn whatever we teach, & have all kids use them.

I’ve seen hotel clerks wearing badges that say “My passion is …”. How about students wearing such badges to inform their teachers?

Changing WHAT we teach is even more important than changing HOW we teach. So much is useless to most kids (x for tests). It shouldn’t be.

The entire world is getting an outdated education—& our kids know it. We can, and must, do better.

Every kid should experience robotics, starting in elementary school. Options: Lego Mindstorms, FIRST Robotics, humanoid robots competitions.

The network is becoming the key source of education for all; educators are becoming coaches & guides to using it well & wisely.

Technology offers far more than “new ways to do old things”. It brings opportunities to do things that people could never do before.

Coaches aren’t expected to perform well in a sport—they’re expected to make those they coach perform well. Ditto for teachers & students.

Education is becoming less dependent on courses, exams & degrees, & more on people being linked, worldwide, to resources & to each other.

Learning to use the network well helps people learn, stay healthy, find & do work, earn money, save, & participate more in their government.

A good education should make all our kids effective thinkers, actors, relators & accomplishers, as well as powerful technology users.

Teaching as though our world is NOT now a symbiosis of humans & technology holds our kids back painfully.

Today’s teachers shouldn’t have to “teach to the test,” because technology can. We can make apps to prepare our kids for all exams.

When educators dislike or fear technology, that attitude gets communicated—leading many kids to avoid tech-rich fields like STEM.

A “good teacher” is not one who produces good test scores. It’s one who empathizes with kids & inspires them to know themselves & work hard.

From Finland’s former president: The way we got our literacy rate up was by requiring it for marriage!

Once we know each student’s passion we can create “passion groups” (e.g. music, sports, technology) & approach each group differently.

Every school needs a “tech corps,” led by the strongest students and self-organized by the kids based on ability.

All educators need 2 “tech buddies”—a colleague & a student who each know more about technology than they do. Consult them frequently.

To really educate kids, we must give them problems to which WE DON’T know the answer, and work WITH them to find solutions.

Adapting to our changing world can be scary—“feeling the fear and doing it anyway” is the definition of courage.

A question all educators should be asking continually is “Is there a new, better way for students to learn what I teach?”

Outdated: Having students all do the same thing at once. Better: assigning goals & letting each kid reach them in their own way.

Teaching should focus on skills, not tools. Make the choice of technology to use for a project the students’ (assuming they try them all).

List the technologies you want your students to improve at over the year & ask them to be sure to use each several times—their choice when.

Modeling technology use for kids risks limiting them. Better to assign tasks to teams & say “surprise me.”

Students can build & set up wi-fi signal boosters in schools & community using tin cans. (See http://bit.ly/gSnMJh). Let’s encourage this.

Administrators: help bring kid’s capabilities into school by offering monthly prizes for the best tech use by a student in every subject.

Let’s stop duplicating the same teaching techniques we experienced as students in an age when they no longer work.

Even if the changing context causes discomfort, that shouldn’t stop us from adapting to our current world.

Thinking with your students about how to use technology powerfully for learning can be more educational for kids than actually using it.

Administrators can encourage technology use by offering monthly prizes for the best ideas by teachers & students for using tech in classes.

Technology should be an opportunity for both teachers and students to experiment and to do new & powerful things.

Why, when the context of the world has changed so radically, do we still teach almost entirely for the world of the past?

We can have our students to find apps & games relevant to what they’re learning, & teach each other to use them.

Let’s embrace students’ excitement about technology — & help them turn it to their educational advantage.

The value technology brings to education is enabling students to do new, more powerful tasks.

We would all benefit by reflecting more on how technology can ENHANCE our learning & lives.

4 key to-dos for #teachers: Listen more. Respect kids’ tech knowledge & passions. Over-expect. Dare to do what’s right.

Motivation comes from choice. Persistence comes from passion. Kids need both.

“Accelerating change” does not just mean faster change. It means faster & faster & faster change. We need to all understand this and adapt.

With motivation, tools, guidance & coaching, all kids can teach themselves to succeed—that’s what an education is.

Digital Wisdom is finding the best symbiosis of human strength and #technology strength in every area.

The more we share, the faster we learn. Short videos, uploaded online, are the best tool for sharing good practices. Make & post lots of them.

Technology used just to do old things in new ways is trivial. Doing POWERFUL NEW THINGS with technology is what’s needed.

When kids get dazzled by their connections to the world educators should provide useful glasses—not make kids blind.

Being a Digital Native does NOT mean knowing how all technology works. It means having lived ONLY IN THE DIGITAL WORLD.

Even those adults fluent with technology typically retain some pre-digital thinking—we should watch for it.

The habits of highly effective people are known. Not teaching them to our kids is perverse.

Every class should produce an App. There’s almost always a student who can—or can learn to—do the programming. The rest create the content.

Video should be used by teachers like writing. I.e. something done every day and critiqued by teachers as writing is.

We should re-name our kids “creators” or “entrepreneurs”—not students or learners. Language shapes behavior.

“Becoming” is a better goal for students than “learning. Learning is only a means. #generation #4change

The curriculum of Math, English, Social Studies & Science is a MESS, acronymically & literally. We must (& can) do better. #lrnchat #freedom

We should re-name our classroom educators “coaches” rather than “teachers.” Language shapes behavior.

“In my life I make decisions; in school I do what I’m told.” —a student. Is this the education we want and need?

Technology will become a trillion x more powerful In the life of our kids. It’s time for educators to embrace the human-machine symbiosis.

We’ll never create a good education for young people without involving them in the process.

People raised in a pre-digital world have attitudes & behaviors shaped by that world, no matter how tech-savvy they are. Look for them.

All #teachers should ask: “What powerful things can my students do now, with technology, that they could not do before in any way?

Today’s kids hate being told, but enjoy teaching themselves. They need guidance & coaching from adults to do it best.

Technology can inspire kids. But when used only to do old things in new ways it adds little inspiration or value.

Technology should be used POWERFULLY to expand students’ horizons, not TRIVIALLY to do old things in new ways.

“In 2013, E-books will become THE books.” –Mark Anderson, Technology Forecaster.

The huge change in perspective needed by educators is from “#Education as Hierarchy” to “Education as Network”.

Read “An Exclusive Q & A with Marc Prensky” at http://ht.ly/g5BLN

We all need to adapt to the new context of VUCA and Accelerating change in which we now live.

Technology now enables motivated kids to teach themselves quite well—especially with good coaching!

Change brings fear—Courage is feeling fear & doing what’s needed anyway. Today’s educators need the courage to do what’s right for our kids!

People hate to change, but most can adapt. It’s crucial that we adapt to the new context in which we live.

Using digital #technology is our kids’ birthright as citizens of the 21st century. Don’t deny it to them.

Smart board use is often trivial—#teachers did similar things with felt boards a century ago. Use technology powerfully. http://ht.ly/fBa12

Is there an online computer in your classroom? Appoint 1 student per period as the class’s “Designated Internet researcher and RSS checker.”

Our kids must become symbiotic with technology to be intellectually proficient in a digital world. #generation #4change

For ways to deeply integrate technology into your teaching and subject, see http://ht.ly/fBa12 and http://ht.ly/f2IME #Teacher

The Digital Native’s context is now THE context. Like it or not, we all must learn to adapt. #lrnchat #freedom

World communication, simulation, virtual communities & 3D printing are powerful uses of technology that students should employ in school.

Unless there is feedback from around the world, blogging is just writing in a new way, and is trivial. The CONNECTION makes it powerful.

The best “Brain Gain” comes from enhancing all people’s brains through technology. http://ht.ly/fBazt

Because of technology, our kids have FAR GREATER capabilities today than they’ve ever had. We should encourage them to amaze us!

Teachers need to know what technology can do, but not necessarily use it themselves. That’s the students’job. http://youtu.be/4MpzcjhY_wI

Good #teachers use their knowledgeable kids as technology helpers & partners—especially to plan how to use technology effectively in class.

Becoming a node on the network empowers everyone to live better, learn better, work better, earn better and participate better in the world.

Technology can’t provide empathy or passion—they must be added by the teachers and students. http://youtu.be/t6Dibv_e0-A #edtech

Programming = making technology do what you want. Kids want it, need it & we should be teaching it! http://www.edutopia.org/programming

The Student Perspective: “If I lose my cell phone I lose half my brain.” #generation #4change

The Student Perspective: “I stopped having to know how to calculate when my phone learned to do it.” #generation #4change

The Student Perspective: “There’s so much difference between how we think and how our teachers think.” #generation #4change

The Student Perspective: “When I go to school I have to power down.” #generation #4change

The Student Perspective: “In my life I make decisions. In school I follow directions.” #generation #4change

My talks & workshops always create “buzz” and new thinking. May I do this for your school or district? http://www.marcprensky.com/speaking/

True, in-person has “body language”, but it also has “lookism”. Online we only see the work product. http://youtu.be/CP033rlZn20

1: Watch a student panel about technology in learning at @OHEducation Conference. http://goo.gl/HuD8j 2: Do your own.
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Technology is now part of 21st century humans’ minds and thinking. People now REQUIRE technology to do their best.

We must re-balance old & new, past & future, top-down & bottom-up for our new educational context.

Technology gives kids power that people their age have never had. Let’s help them use it wisely. http://ht.ly/fBa12

There are almost a billion You Tubes online. “Video is the new text.” (Mark Anderson, Futurist) #edtech

Motivation comes from choice. Persistence comes from passion.

View “Getting Both Great 21st Century #Teaching and Great Student Achievement” at http://goo.gl/HuD8j @OHEducation

For more & more people short video (e.g. You Tube) is now the preferred way to learn how to do ALMOST ANYTHING. http://ht.ly/fBc1Z #lrnchat

The human brain UNENHANCED by technology is no longer the wisest thing on the planet.

Turning off our technology diminishes us. We are all symbiotic with technology in this digital age.

Let’s teach things we know kids will need, like virtual communities, video production, programming (& more). http://ht.ly/fBc1Z

“Every turned off device is a turned-off kid!” -Stephen Heppell

Put up notices saying “FOR STUDENTS ONLY—TEACHERS DO NOT TOUCH” on all your classroom technology—including smart boards.

Even with technology, teachers need EMPATHY. Students need PASSION. http://ht.ly/fBckQ

Our curricula are overstuffed, so an effective teacher must ask: “Is this is worth 2 weeks, or is it worth 2 sentences?” about everything.

People hate to change, but we all adapt when necessary. Now’s the time for educators to be adapting to our new context.

20th c. Goal: Empower the half of the world that’s female. 21st c. Goal: Empower the half of the world that’s under 25.

Only 1 networked computer per classroom? Make it the class’s “lifeline to the world” for finding information and knowing what’s happening.

We must adapt to our new context of VUCA (Variability, Uncertainty, Complexity & Ambiguity) PLUS accelerating change.

Doing “old things in new ways with technology” is meaningful ONLY IF WE STOP DOING THOSE SAME THINGS WITHOUT IT.

“Learning” is too narrow a goal for students—a better goal is “becoming” Learning is only a means. #generation #4change

Viewing “thinking” as something one does WITHOUT technology is old-fashioned in the 21st c., & not enough for our kids.

Kids’ attention spans may be short for what we do in school, but they’re NOT short for things kids are passionate about.

The fact that we know the habits of highly effective people and don’t teach them to all our kids is shameful!

Learn what being a Digital Native REALLY means: http://goo.gl/bJyiB @CNNedition

Teachers & students need to think of themselves as nodes on a world network, & learn to use that network effectively for learning and life.

Today, technology is as fundamental to learning as reading—up-to-date learning can’t be done without it.

Speaking feedback: “Your comments WILL have lasting impressions. Thank you for inspiring us.” http://ht.ly/f2IME

The best 21st c. pedagogy is PARTNERING: Students and teachers sharing, in better ways, the work needed to learn. http://amzn.to/VLDt4s

Our best teachers have adapted: from being givers of information to kids, to being coaches, guides & partners for kids teaching themselves.

The best way to reach all our kids & motivate them to learn & persist is to help each one find & follow a passion.

We should all be striving for Digital Wisdom: combining the best of minds and technology.

When #teachers focus only on curriculum & test scores and not people, students feel like “cellophane kids”— transparent.

Technology does many things well, but empathy and passion come only from people. http://youtu.be/t6Dibv_e0-A

Powerful in-class technologies include skyping & tweeting around the world; using large databases & computation engines like Wolfram Alpha.

Good speaking is more critical to success than good writing. Yet our schools emphasize it far less. http://ht.ly/g5Dnh

To add the future to our overstuffed curricula, we must delete what’s no longer needed. Your candidate for deletion from the curriculum is?
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Our kids are focused on the future. Their education, sadly, focuses mainly on the past. http://youtu.be/Ha04eLLsV3A

“We have reached the end of squeezing good out of an outdated school system,” says Michael Fullan. So let’s all INVENT new ways to educate!

Speaking feedback: @MarcPrensky has critical information to share! He’s also an outstanding speaker”. Book Marc now! http://ht.ly/f2IME

What ISN’T Technology Good At? Empathy, for one thing!

Because an adult learned to think with paper DOESN’T mean kids should now. Better: “Do it today’s way, even though I learned differently”.

We should ask (and expect) our students to “surprise me” and “blow my socks off” every day with what they can do with technology.

“Who Needs Long Division?” in @TCBReview http://goo.gl/P2Y0B

Writing a blog is only an old thing in a new way. SHARING & FEEDBACK via blogs is the powerful part. http://ht.ly/fBa12

If all teachers learn each student’s passion & use it to personalize, our education will improve immediately. http://youtu.be/5GqtwLNRPUg

Ever heard kids talk about how they like to learn? Student panels are part of my talks—they’re very powerful.@marprensky http://ht.ly/f2FfE

We can use #technology TRIVIALLY or POWERFULLY in education. Let’s be clear which we are doing. http://ht.ly/fBa12

We should be using technology POWERFULLY in our education & not just to do “old things in new ways.” http://ht.ly/fBa12

Creating new #education for young people without involving those young people is almost certain to fail.

In the 21st c., “The Basics” changing because of technology. “Age-appropriate” is changing too.

“I stopped having to know how to calculate when my phone learned to do it.”—A student

Our students were born to rapid change and a faster pace. Just saying “slow down” won’t work. http://youtu.be/Ha04eLLsV3A

Digital Wisdom comes from combining things that brains do well with things that technology does far better—in the best possible way.

“Hearing words like “thoughtful”, “provocative”, “inspiring” to describe @MarcPrensky … was one of the top rated…” http://ht.ly/f2IME

Want new perspectives + practical advice? Book @MarcPrensky for professional development in your school or district. http://ht.ly/f2FfE

Past: Letters, essays, reports; Future: virtual communities, video communication, programming http://ht.ly/fBc1Z #edtech

Young people should respect the past, but not live—or be educated—in it.

Adults think of technology as a tool. Kids think of it as a foundation that underlies everything they do.

Adults often forget the tools and power they are carrying on the smartphones in their pockets. Kids rarely do.

The greatest help a #teacher can give any student is to recognize, value & validate that student’s passion.

Turning off our technology makes us not more human, but less.

If we use technology to do “old things in new ways” WE SHOULD GIVE UP THE OLD WAYS.

Our system was not designed for kids empowered by technology. It’s time to invent! http://youtu.be/Ha04eLLsV3A

Technology is as important to education as reading. It should be a part of everything our kids do.

Technology is for students. Teachers must know what it can do, but are more successful when they leave its use to kids.

To motivate kids to learn and persist, adults should help each one find and follow a passion.

There’s a new type of person evolving in the world: The Digitally Wise Human. We must all strive to be one.

Have your kids make an app as a class project. They can easily learn how to do it on the Web. #generation #4change

“We found your time here to be very thought-provoking & to have prompted lots of in-school discussion [i.e] SUCCESSFUL!” http://ht.ly/f2IME

When technology is scarce, teachers should share and assign roles like “Designated Internet Researcher.” http://goo.gl/P2Y0B @TCBReview

It’s not only that teachers need to help kids use 21st century tools—#teachers need to BE 21st century tools themselves!

Our goal should be to make kids as empowered in their school lives as they are in their personal lives.

We are all students; we are all teachers. Respect between teachers and students must be MUTUAL.

Educators, to be successful, need to adapt to the new context in which their students live—VUCA and accelerating change.

Any slowdown in the digital age is a myth, innovation will only press forward faster – @CNNedition http://goo.gl/bJyiB

In an age where the answer to every factual question is at one’s fingertips, students need to do more than learn facts. http://ht.ly/fBazt

Connecting our brains to technology is making us all far better thinkers.

Young people don’t just use technology differently, they approach their lives differently because of technology.

Our kids need to learn to COMMUNICATE well. Speaking, video & multimedia are as important as writing. http://ht.ly/g5DfI

Our brains today are incredibly extended & enhanced by technology when we use it well. Let’s be sure our kids know how.

#Education now needs everyone be linked to resources and to each other so they can learn and teach whatever they need.

Bringing the outside world into the classroom via technology can turn on our students’ lights!