Digital Learners

The world really has changed. The young people coming into your classroom are connected, they expect information and interaction quickly. They like video, it engages them (you may not like it, but it is true). They bully each other over digital networks (at least about 35% of the kids in middle school do). They support each other, and share, and fight, and make friends. I am of the opinion that they are strengthened by the connections they build online. They see school as increasingly irrelevant. I think that opinion is justified.

Don Tapscott proposes eight generational norms:

Freedom– Young people expect to have more say in what they do and how they do it than individuals in previous generations.

Customization– Young people expect to be able to make technology (and other things) their own… they install their own apps, change background images, and otherwise “trick out” their technology.

Scrutiny– Expect young people to question you and ask “why?”

Integrity– Young people expect others to be honorable.

Collaboration– Young people work together (which is different from cheating).

Entertainment– Young people expect to be entertained, and they will grab a device to entertain themselves if needed.

Speed– Young people expect change to happen fast.

Innovation– Young people want the best technology (which explains why they will buy three new phones in a year!)