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"Digital Natives"

Today’s students are the first generation to grow up immersed in digital technology, making them “digital natives,” according to Mark Prensky, an educational technology consultant. Students speak and understand technology as their “native language.” This grant program allows teachers and students to work together to cross the divide between the digital natives and many teachers who are learning to become more technologically adept.

Read more about it:

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants
By Marc Prensky
"It is amazing to me how in all the hoopla and debate these days about the decline of education in the US we ignore the most fundamental of its causes. Our students have changed radically. Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach."

Additional resources

Click on the links below for more helpful information:

GenYES Web site

Vision to Action: Adding Student Leadership to Your Technology Plan

Turning the Tables: Students Teach Teachers (originally published on 9/1/2001)

TECHYES Certification Program

Sharing Student Voice: Students Presenting at Conferences

NYSSTL Web site


Central Administration

Leadership and Achievement through Technology Initiative


EETT Program integrates technology as an essential instructional tool

Student-powered integration enhances 21st Century skills

Area teachers and students from 30 public and private middle schools in the HFM BOCES and WSWHE BOCES region are collaborating to use technology as a tool to improve student performance in English language arts, mathematics and science. This grant-funded Enhancing Education Through Technology program helps meet the federal goal that all students will demonstrate technology literacy by the end of eighth grade.

Students in today’s schools enter a different world than that of their parents. “Twenty-first century” skills beyond traditional core subject areas include:

learning and thinking skills such as problem solving, creativity, and collaboration

civic, cultural and global awareness

life skills such as ethics and leadership

technology, information and media literacy

Technology integration allows all students to explore this new world in their classes, and reach beyond the walls of their classroom to the world beyond. In addition, students involved in technology planning and implementation have the opportunity to collaborate with adults to solve real world problems — true twenty-first century skills.

Digital Learning Specialists Network

Imagine a network of tech-savvy teachers ready to help integrate the newest technology into any learning environment, willing to support and model the effective use of that technology as an instructional tool, and able to share best practices and deliver effective professional development experiences that mentor and equip colleagues in their building, district and BOCES region.

Digital Learning Specialists (DLS) are a growing network of instructors trained to implement the newest technologies in support of data-driven instruction. This team of mentoring teachers will help grow a technologically-aware culture among component schools that benefits from enhanced communication and the dynamic use of technology in the classroom.

The goal, of course, is sustaining student interest and improving student achievement, and the involvement of digital learning specialists in the integration of technology as an instructional tool helps cross that “digital divide” between past practices and today’s students.

Digital Learning Specialists are supported in their efforts to integrate technology by the New York State Student Technology Leader clubs.

GenYES logoNational Partnership

Partnering with a national organization, Generation Yes and its founder Dr. Dennis Harper, HFM BOCES’ two-year Enhancing Education Through Technology grant provides for the 30 participating districts to develop and sponsor active New York State Student Technology Leader clubs.

This summer, middle-school students attended a week-long camp where they learned leadership strategies to assist their peers in demonstrating their technology literacy. The students also gained skills to assist their teachers on how to infuse technology into classroom lessons with the goals of sustaining student interest and improving student achievement.

New York State Student Technology Leaders (NYSSTL)

Katie Dickey of Northville and Destini Rippy of Gloversville wrap up a project at Student Technology Leaders Summer CampToday’s students — a digital generation raised with computers and technology pervading their lives — will play an important role in the use of technology in the classroom. District-sponsored technology clubs teach middle school students leadership strategies and how technology is used in education, and then partner students and teachers together. These teams produce standards-aligned, technology-infused lessons for the teacher’s classroom.

Student Technology Leaders help other students learn and demonstrate a mastery of technology by tutoring and helping evaluate technology projects that all students will create.

The NYSSTL Online Network provides a forum for Student Technology Leaders from around the state to share their ideas and accomplishments, solve problems and collaborate to create a wide network of student leaders in New York State.

Who will become technology literate?

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