Educating the Net Generation

Net Generation students were born into the age of information technology. Their attitudes, expectations, skills and learning styles reflect their environment – which contrasts our own upbringing.

From our personal experience as educators, we’ve outlined what we believe are the 7 key traits of the Net Generation:

1. Connected

Net Gen expect instant access to information. If they need to know something, they will Google it. They also need connectivity to their peers. Social networking sites such as Face Book  exemplify this fact.

2. Communicative

Net Gen are early adopters of new devices and social tools. They love iPods, mobile phones, sms, social networks, chat, IM and to a lesser extent, email (because it is not instant).

3. Collaborative

Net Gen enjoy group work and exchanging ideas with others. This trait follows from the first two, because when one is connected and communicative, they will most likely be collaborating with others.

4. Digital

Net Gen are digital natives. Lets face it, our learners may be as young as the Internet. Modern technology is a normal part of their lives.

5. Experiential

Net Gen prefer to learn by doing rather than being told what to do. They explore, experiment and build. “Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Let me do and I understand”. Chinese Proverb

6. Participative

Net Gen are producers not consumers of information. They are actively involved in Web 2.0 technologies such as blogger, flickr , facebook, youtube and wikipedia .

7. Visual

Net Gen prefer image over text rich environments for learning.

In summary, Net Gen pose significant challenges for educators. What are your experiences and thoughts with regard to educating the Net Gen?…

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