Learning for the Net Generation – not so new ideas, perhaps

Interesting article, here, found on Robin Good’s blog: Learning Independence: New Approaches for Educating the Net Generation

In a nutshell the key points are:

  • Net Geners have a strong desire to learn and comprehend
  • They are essentially goal-oriented in their educational choices (with an eye toward how certain classes in High School will help get them in the right college or how their college courses will prepare them for a specific career path)
  • Net Geners want to learn, yet theirs is a more self-directed learning preference that centers around independence and autonomy

And there is some fine, quotable material as well …

To be human is to learn, and we learn from good teachers

Good enough for a bumper sticker, I should think.

Okay – this is a fine article. It has some references to back up the conclusions. And it offers quite a lot to think about (I had forgotten about WebQuests probably because I’ve yet to find a way to incorporate them into my work for corporate clients). 

The gist, though, that Net Geners have a different learning preference and therefore tackle their education and learning differently than other generations … Not so new here … “our generation is different from yours” … Doh! 

Since young people will likely continue to be at the forefront of technological change, Net Geners will continue to have a lot to teach educators about evolving technology. Yet educators must not abdicate their role as authorities directing the learning experiences of their students.

Several years back I sat through a presentation on how GenXers are different from Boomers in the workplace – and how we ISD folks have to figure out designing training to meet the GenX learning preference … translation: our generation is different from yours.

The challenge then is not so much in recognizing that there’s a difference – but what does that difference in style, attitude or preference really mean.

This article is a good start.


About Rory

I make my home in the central part of the Garden State along with my family. When I'm not working as an Instructional Designer (focusing mostly on Web-Based learning ... and other eLearning technologies) or researching something, I'm found at home playing computer or video games. Among other things, I volunteer as a choir member and catechist for 8th graders at my parish.
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