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Teaching Digital Natives — Partnering for Real Learning

Teaching Digital Natives — Partnering for Real Learning, Marc’s third book, is in probably his most widely read and used. Basically a “how-to” manual for teachers on how to swich over to the new, far more effective “Partnering Pedagogy” of the 21st century, it has been used by, and influenced a generation of new teachers.


Read Entire Chapters:


Introduction: Our Changing World: Technology and Global Society
Chapter 1: Partnering: a Pedagogy for the New Educational Landscape
Chapter 2: Moving to the Partnership Pedagogy
Chapter 3: Thinking “People and Passions” rather than “Classes and Content”
Chapter 4: Being REAL (not Just Relevant)
Chapter 5: Planning: Content to Questions, Questions to Skills
Chapter 6: Using Technology in Partnering
Chapter 7: Understanding the “Nouns,” or Tools
Chapter 8: Letting Your Students Create
Chapter 9: Continuously Improving through Sharing and Practice
Chapter 10: Assessment in the Partnering Pedagogy
Conclusion: The (Not Too Distant) Future of Education


For years, Marc Prensky analyzed and came to understand digital natives (our kids) and digital immigrants (our teachers/educational system). Now he assimilates teaching, learning, and technology into a brilliant how-to for 21st century teachers and students—a model of what he calls a “partnering pedagogy.” Teaching Digital Natives proposes that educators focus on verbs (essential skills) and nouns (tools to learn skills). Teachers own the verbs; students own the nouns. Holy cow—it’s content agnostic (all content fits) and metacognitive (help kids think about how they are learning)! This book will set the educational preparation world on its heels with a compelling argument for positive change.
—Lawrence L. Smith, PhD
Professor of Elementary Education
Ball State University

Great book—really fabulous! What sets Marc Prensky’s new book uniquely apart from just about any educational book I have read in the past few years is his consistent focus on students and learning, not just technology. This book is a must-read for any educator who wants to effectively work with the digital generation because it is so practical and filled with numerous fantastic and easy-to-implement ideas designed to engage students in 21st century learning environments. Bravo—this is the book that I would have liked to have written.
—Ian Jukes
Author, speaker, writer, consultant
21st Century Fluency Group

Marc’s understanding of how our school-age digital natives learn underpins his prescient “pedagogy of partnering.” As always, he looks to the learner as the first consideration in the educational equation. The insightful advice and gentle guidance Marc provides classroom teachers in this book will directly assist them in moving powerful digital tools into the right hands: their students! Marc’s understanding that the pedagogy of partnering is built on a relationship of colearning is fundamental to the 21st century classroom. This book looks to the future with an urgent spirit of possibility and promise!
—David Engle
North Platte Public School District
North Platte, NE

Prensky offers us real hope for a school-based Digital Enlightenment that will transform teachers and teaching. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in school reform and 21st century learning.
—James Paul Gee, PhD
Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies
Division of Curriculum and Instruction
Arizona State University

Loving the screening copy of Prensky’s new book. So many delicious nuggets. I’ll be sharing some and buying lots of copies for NYC educators.
—Lisa Nielsen
Educator, Speaker, Author
The Innovative Educator Blog

Prensky’s introduction of the partnering concept for teaching and learning is brilliant in its simplicity. Crossing the paradigm from telling to a more student-centered approach is difficult absent a simple but powerful new model. Prensky has provided that model, with partnering as the common thread. And the real power here is that he has carefully defined and redefined roles of teachers, learners, parents, etc.—not just as prose, but also with concrete examples and practical hints. I found myself reading toward each Practical Tips box with expectation and excitement that finally someone has written a book for teachers that goes beyond pedagogy and philosophy, and gives teachers something they can use on Monday morning!
—Sandy Fivecoat
We Are Teachers

Loved loved loved it! I’ve now read it through twice, just to be as thorough as possible, and I wanted to see how much I would retain, it being such an easy read and all. I highly enjoyed it and look forward to directing my staff development training now toward the verbs rather than the nouns.
—Amber Teamann
Title I Technology Facilitator
Garland Independent School District
Garland, TX

Now is the time to rethink schools. Now is the time not to teach as we were taught. Today’s world, today’s schools, today’s students are not what they were before 1992. Every industry has embraced technology except education. Now is the time to change education before it is too late for America. Marc Prensky has always been aware of this, as his previous books have shown. Teaching Digital Natives is a must-read book for those of us who use technology, for those needing more details about why we must use technology in our teaching, and for all teachers of teachers to use as a crucial text in their classes. It is more than a paradox that schools in America are so far behind in the use of technology in our schools; it borders on irresponsible. Today’s students aren’t just consumers of information, they are producers, and Prensky provides evidence of this and methods to continue to foster this new kind of pedagogy in the 21st century.
—Ted Nellen
New York City Teacher of the Year
Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School
New York, NY

This book is an outstanding guide to new learning. It explores, explains, helps us evaluate, and gives us ways to show the exchanges and entries into new practices that will excite digital natives. I very much appreciate the job that Marc has done. Being a visionary is one thing; translating the practice of those who get it into real words, action items, and ways to transform so that others can seize the skills is another thing entirely. Marc defines and gives us ideational scaffolding and multiple ways to meet the goals of the future, and he leapfrogs ideas to the next level: how do you do this, what is the framework, how do you customize with different pedagogical strategies? You really have to read Teaching Digital Natives to see the beauty of the way in which he shares complex practices in teaching in simple ways, easy for anyone to understand. This book can be a passport to change for educators of all kinds.
—Bonnie Bracey Sutton
Teacher and Researcher

Prensky explains the often-perceived daunting task of marshalling 21st century technologies for classroom instruction in a way that teachers can easily understand and apply immediately. The concept of partnering and allowing both teachers and students to capitalize on their strengths clarifies the issues for educators. The good news: teachers don’t have to be masters of technology to master the 21st century classroom. Prensky has developed a new map for a new era of teaching and learning that educators will find a breeze to navigate and well worth the trip!
—Jonathan Ben-Asher
Henry and Wrightstown Elementary Schools
Tucson, AZ

A truly great and inspiring book. Teaching Digital Natives provides innovative, realistic, and clearly explained techniques that increase student engagement and learning. My students are a testament that partnering, as laid out in this book, does work. Prensky’s ideas around “nouns” and “verbs” are groundbreaking and immediately effective in the classroom. In addition, the expansive list of “nouns” is helpful for educators at all levels of technology experience. Teaching Digital Natives is a must-read for every educator that truly wants to reach out and engage students in the classroom.
—Randon Ruggles
FAIR School
Minneapolis, MN

Marc Prensky has expertly captured the sense of urgency needed in education today. 21st century skills, needed core curriculum, rigor, and methodology are outlined in a way all educators can appreciate and implement. The important roles of teachers, parents, and learners are outlined in easy-to-follow strategies that make perfect sense. His “pedagogical partnering” with students to facilitate a new way to teach is invaluable for educators working to better meet the needs of all learners. Teaching Digital Natives is a must-read for all educators who strive to meet the emerging demands of our profession. Needless to say, we will be purchasing many copies.
—Jere Vyverberg
Waverly-Shell Rock Community Schools
Waverly, IA