Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Generation Finding its Way to New Success

Don Tapscott, on a the Net Generation Education Challenge asks "Is this the dumbest generation?"

As part of the conversation of the NetGenEd Project, the 300+ students and teachers involved in the online project have a chance to respond the video Don has uploaded recently.

In this video Don talks about the 'misconception' that the youth of today are Internet addicted, narcissistic, mooch off their parents, and made 'dumb' by their constant worthless online activities.

Here is my short response:
"Don, my first reaction to this, as part of the 'baby-boomer' generation, is wasn't the same sort of criticism leveled at the child of the 60's? Weren't we accused of being 'TV zombies'? Brought up on Gilligans Island and I Dream of Jeanie while we waited (I come from Australia) for better quality educational content to filter through to our screens, which it did eventually. Weren't we accused of spending far too much time passively entertained to the detriment of our brain cells and our physiques? As for mooching off parents......once again this is an economic and generational divide debate, and also a cultural divide. In many societies it is considered appropriate to live as an extended family and combine income. The American or western model is not replicated or desired everywhere.
In support of students today, they have the opportunity to create their own learning spaces, and they do with great confidence. They have ownership of their own digital content and the power to make connections that will ensure they can change the world that we as the mature adults have tinkered with.
After being witness to student-motivated outcomes through projects such as Net Generation Education, after seeing the determination to connect, collaborate, problem-solve and create through an opportunity such as the Flat Classroom Conference recently, I have complete confidence that given a chance the youth of today will find their way and show us all a better way of life. They have the motivation: to make the world livable for all. They have the tools: networked resources that allow them connections and collaborations we have never had until now."

What do you think??

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Unknown said...

I agree with you. I am struggling this year with students who are not as proactive as last year. Students who had wonderful ideas and took liberties for their own education. This year they are more passive and not sure why. Could it be I did not encourage as much as I expected the same level and they would "know what they were getting in to" after hearing about class from others. Or is the push back I am seeing from certain admin and colleagues also in the parents as well? When school is not business as usual, parents become unhinged at little things and can't help but think they transfer much to their children. This I know is a little off topic, but I think these kids are much more creative than my generation. Unfortunately, my generation maybe constraining them.

Anonymous said...

Its true and cant ignore it.