Rethinking the ‘Natives and Immigrants’ debate. Bloom’s Taxonomy for the digital learner.

October 19, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Digital Era, e-learning 

Yesterday I wrote a piece on teenagers and the social media environment they are living in. This resulted in so many great discussions with various colleagues through twitter, face to face and on the phone. Matt huges also passed me a great prezi which I have looked at three times now and I think it would be really useful to pass it on. As I have often said, the students I taught 10 years ago are dramatically different to those I teach today. Whilst the class of 2000 were more digital immigrant than native those who I teach today live in an immersive world of communication where online is all pervasive.

When thinking about our learners and their learning environments almost all teachers will be familiar with Bloom’s Taxonomy which classifies learning objectives into levels. The key question which arises is how does Bloom’s Taxonomy remain relevant in such a fast changing learning environment where the very nature of the ‘learning’ is continually being reshaped. The presentation which Matt passed on to me looks at the response to this through the creation of Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy. This identifies the nature of the learning which can take place within our digital environments and classifies this into levels. Well worth 5 minutes of your time and really made me reflect all over again on how important collaboration is within our 21st Century learning environments.


3 Responses to “Rethinking the ‘Natives and Immigrants’ debate. Bloom’s Taxonomy for the digital learner.”
  1. This presentation does a really good job of identifying some of the activities and methods that can be used to move teaching into the digital age. I do think it is poorly named because there is no update to the taxonomy itself, only to the teaching methods. Bloom’s Taxonomy always encouraged participation and collaboration, but most instructors who use -elearning have not figured out how to effectively use technology to have learners collaborate and participate when they are not sitting at table groups. Of course, part of the problem is that many e-learning designers are tech people with subject matter expertise rather than educators! Finding an educator with knowledge of Bloom’s taxonomy AND the skills and technical knowledge (or the time to dedicate to learning the technology) to take their courses into the digital age is more rare.

  2. Greg Wheeler says:

    Thanks for the post on Bloom’s Taxonomy. It’s an incredibly popular paradigm for teaching thinking skills. However, it’s also outdated. Yes, it’s been updated by a few researchers over the years, but these updates have only tweaked the model and have not accounted for cutting-edge research about teaching and learning. I recently wrote a short article for ASCD Express on the need to “upgrade” from Bloom’s:

    As educators, we haven’t been clear in OUR thinking about what thinking is. I’ve had an opportunity to study under Dr. Derek Cabrera, an educational theorist who has studied thinking, knowledge, and how we build ideas for the past 20 years. His work has resulted in the DSRP Method, a way to teach thinking skills within the context of ANY lesson, with any student, in any grade. For teachers using the DSRP Method, it’s changing the way they teach and the way their students see the world.

    I would encourage educators who are interested in thinking skills (hopefully all educators!) to check out the DSRP Method online at:

    There’s also a free course about the research behind the theory available at:

  3. ben reynolds says:

    On the premise that form follows function, if Prezi allowed this, my folks think you should have moved through the content using basically two pyramids. One for Old Bloom. One for New.
    Not to be a grump, but rocking around in circles in what is basically a linear presentation doesn’t add anything to you content.Moving through a form exactly like the pyramid makes more sense.

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