Phase 2 of our project is well on its way with our participating schools putting in their best to report back on their use of digital devices and its impact on 21st century cognitive and social skills. Our Year 3 and 4s have been working hard to tell us how they use digital devices to improve their social and literacy skills, and how online platforms provide a chance to help them develop their critical thinking… In appreciation of their efforts, we shouted them a pizza lunch!
Two members of our research team were lucky enough to be featured on Education Central last week, with an overview of Developing in Digital Worlds and ways the project is supporting development of students’ cognitive skills in schools. “Using the internet to teach critical thinking and argumentation skills might seem a little crazy to anyone who has ever read a YouTube comment section,” the article begins, “but researchers at the Woolf Fisher Research Centre are figuring out how to do just that.”
Professor Stuart McNaughton, the project Science Leader, and Naomi Rosedale spoke about the collaborative nature of the study, the unique learning tools developed specifically for participants, and the new skills that children growing up in the 21st century need. Some of the highlights they included were an online discussion board about Taylor Swift and West Auckland dotterel colonies set up to develop students’ argumentation, and a web-based game in which students collaborate to save a distant planet from asteroid collision.
“There is still so little that we know about the developmental nature of children’s social and cognitive skills in digital learning environments,” Director of the Woolf Fisher Research Centre Professor Stuart McNaughton said. “In fact, to our knowledge, this project is the first in the world that investigates the links in skill development with classroom teaching, whānau support at home, and digital learning tools, including games.”
Read the full article here.