Thursday, November 08, 2007

E-Learning Mythbusters #4

This post begins with a definition of terms. One problem in e-learning is that we have so many terms that are used interchangeably which leads to the confusion of many.

Example: Digital Natives (not a fan), Millennials, Net Generation, NeXt Generation, iGen, Gen Y, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah until you wanna puke. Let's end this stupidity and all decide to use the following term when referring to the newest crop of college-bound students - "Native Net-gennials." Please enunciate carefully - notice that there is a "t" in the first word, a "t" in the second word, but no"t" in the third word.

e-Learning Myth #4: Native Net-gennials are well prepared for e-Learning

Ummmh, no, they aren't!! Do not pass go, do not collect $200. The native net-gennials don't get the technology used in e-Learning. They get MySpace and FaceBook. They get IM and text messaging. However, they have very few technology skills that we expect them to use in e-Learning. Is that their problem, or ours?

Do academics need to bend a little and start using some of the tools that the net-gennials are accustomed to, or do the NNGs need to learn how to save an MS Word as an RTF file and upload that file into a drop-box even though they'll never again see something quite like that? Almost nothing in their technology-laden worlds are as structured, as inflexible, as "old-fashioned" as the current virtual learning environments into which we expect them to immerse themselves.

Let me repeat. Is this their problem, or ours?

(NOTE: Don't forget the new term:)

CC Flickr photo By D'Arcy Norman

1 comment:

ED TECH (ET) said...

coincidentally - a colleague just glancing over my shoulder saw the word "genitals" - i had to laugh after reading your pronunciation warning. you might want to re-think your new label.